There are many things in life I wished I'd done differently."Why didn't I...(fill in the blank)" is a common thought that runs through my brain whenever I have a fleeting moment of reflection. However, when I think back on the fact that I didn’t start smoking, I only feel relief. If I had started smoking, I think I would be one of those who had an awful time quitting.I hear a lot of stories from people about how they felt about smoking. People have shared their stories on how they started smoking, their motivations to quit and their life after smoking. I think there are a number of reasons why they share these experiences. Some may want kids not to follow in their footsteps, hoping that if they talk about how much smoking affected their lives, it could make someone think twice about experimenting with cigarettes. Some want to impart the "if-I-can-do-it-you-can-do-it" message - hoping that it may help spur someone else to action. Finally, some just want to celebrate. Their pride leaps off the page.
Smoking is sometimes a social event - people have a good chat while standing outside their offices, having a cigarette. So can quitting be a social event? I think so - and to prove it, QuitNowBC has some great videos from people. Young, old, male, female - they've walked the quitting walk and are happy to talk about it. There are also daily chats from smokers, soon-to-be-ex-smokers and ex-smokers on QuitNoW BC Facebook page. So if you're thinking about quitting and wanting some support, this may be the place for you.
When I read these stories, I sometimes get a bit choked up. A parent talking about how their children felt about smoking, a senior who ended a decades-long connection with cigarettes...they all move me, every time. I don't think I’m alone in that.
Do you have a story to tell? Did you help a friend or family member through their quit? Were you a smoker who made the big break? We want to hear your comments!
Shelley Canitz is the director for the BC Ministry of Health’s Tobacco Control Program.She hears about the changes people want around tobacco and how tobacco use affects their goals for healthy living. She’s fascinated by tobacco issues and she shares her thoughts with this blog.Thanks for blogging with us again Shelley!