More Than Fitness: Support Without Criticism

I was so excited when I learned I could write this article, until I sat down to write it. I was actually afraid to disappoint the person who smokes who decides to read this tiny article. So, I aimed for quick, meaningful and motivating.
People who smoke are not just smokers. Most people who smoke don’t wish to be defined by that.  People who smoke are people with family, friends, jobs, educational pursuits, hopes and dreams. They aren’t smokers, they are people who smoke and research says most of them wish they could just stop.
While most people who smoke don’t really want to do so forever, they don’t need to be told by their loved ones that smoking is harmful. They already know. Has there ever been a time that a loved one told you that you needed to lose 25 pounds? Chances are, you already knew (chances are you imagined throat punching subsequent friends and family who felt compelled to tell you that again). In Canada, there are somewhere between five and six million people who smoke and over half of them attempt to stop smoking yearly. Most know it is bad and many crave support to stop without any added criticism. What scares me, what made me so nervous to write the article today, is that without additional help, only 5 out of every 100 people who smoke will be able to stop. The good news in this? With help, in the form of counselling and/or medications, the chance of successfully stopping smoking is much higher.
If I told you that lettuce was the leading cause of preventable death and disease in those from Hampton, Saint John, and the rest of the world, would you stop eating lettuce? It is very likely that you would.  Lettuce would likely be relatively easy to stop as it doesn’t have addictive properties (there’s no sugar and no nicotine). Of course, lettuce is not the world’s leading cause of preventable death and disease; unfortunately, smoking is. Smoking is also difficult to stop because it leads to addiction which is a disorder that can be uncomfortable to cure without assistance.
Do you smoke? When you’re ready to talk, there are people that can support you to develop an individual plan to help you stop. Your family doctor, pharmacist and respiratory therapist are examples of people who can help. Truth is, it is so important to your health that we hope you never hesitate to ask for assistance you need to stop smoking.  You have the capability to stop and your health is worth our time.

By Guest Writer, Tammie Fournier, RRT