Dean Smith started smoking as a teenager. He finally was able to quit last year through the ManitobaQuits campaign. But that wasn’t his first time.
“I tried cold turkey at least twice. I tried the nicotine patch a couple of times. I tried e-cigarettes and I tried Champix as well,” he said.
This year’s ManitobaQuits campaign is challenging you to quit smoking – but only for 24 hours. Participants can do it just once, or once a month for the next year.
They will be connected to resources to help them quit, and be entered to win a $200 cash prize.
Tracy Fehr at the Lung Association says that might sound easy, even pointless to some. But it’s for a few good reasons.
“We just want to have that message that a quit counts. It’s not a failure if a person doesn’t make it beyond a day or a couple days. They will try again and we need to kind of help them to do that and not be judgmental,” she said.
The 24 hours is also to help smokers build some confidence in their ability to not reach for a cigarette, even for a short time. It’s also to get them planning for it by learning about some tools, like the patch or gum, that might help them. It’s a little bit like using trial and error. Finding out what works and what doesn’t.
Fehr says it takes most people 3 to 13 tries to quit. And it’s important to learn from them to help succeed the next time.
Because when Dean did, it felt so good. He says he breathes better and can now exercise for much longer. He feels his body rejuvenating.
His words of encouragement for others are short and sweet.
“It’s terrible for you. Do it. Quit,” he smiled.