For­tu­nately, there is help for smok­ers

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Toxic chem­i­cals from cig­a­rettes re­main toxic in sec­ond-hand smoke (May 19)

The Mayo Clinic ar­ti­cle is ac­cu­rate about the neg­a­tive health ef­fects of sec­ond hand smoke, and about the fact that the only way to elim­i­nate the risks of ex­po­sure is to avoid smok­ing. How­ever, smok­ing is a strong ad­dic­tion and while the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who smoke want to quit, it is no­to­ri­ously hard to do. But there’s hope.

The Ontario gov­ern­ment funds great pro­grams that can help smok­ers sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease their chances of quit­ting suc­cess­fully. Smok­ers’ Helpline — which is run from Hamil­ton — of­fers free, non-judg­men­tal sup­port.

Trained Quit Coaches can help smok­ers de­velop a per­son­al­ized quit plan, share tips about what works, and con­nect peo­ple with other free ser­vices in their com­mu­nity. Quit­ters can call 1-877-513-5333 or the num­ber on cig­a­rette pack­ages, seven days a week, or can visit Smok­er­ 24-7. Help is also avail­able by text mes­sage: just text the word “iq­uit” to the tele­phone num­ber 123456 to get proven sup­port di­rectly to your mo­bile phone. It can be hard to quit smok­ing, but there are free re­sources to help. El­iz­a­beth Har­vey, se­nior man­ager, Smok­ers’ Helpline, Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety

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