New Years Resoultion's Quit Buddy

01 January 2015

Charlottetown, PE -

This New Year, Make a Resolution to Help Someone Quit Smoking

Canadian Cancer Society shares tips on how to be a great support buddy 

One of the most common New Year's resolutions is quitting smoking but most smokers are addicted to nicotine, making quitting difficult.  Research shows that support of friends and family can make a difference when it comes to quitting successfully. 

The Canadian Cancer Society is sharing some tools and tips to arm Islanders to help loved ones quit smoking.  "Nagging or guilt trips are not effective in getting people to make changes," says executive director Jane Farquharson.   "There are better strategies to start a positive conversation about quitting smoking.”

Making a pact to quit smoking with the support of a buddy is encouraged.  It may be easier if you can rely on the encouragement of someone close who can talk to you when the urge to smoke feels overwhelming. The Society also provides a free, confidential counselling service and on-line programs through Smokers’ Helpline.

"It often takes a smoker many attempts to beat tobacco addiction for good, so every quit attempt is important," emphasizes Farquharson. "The encouragement of family and friends can be an influential part of the quit process."

Farquharson has first-hand experience of the effectiveness of quitting together.   Forty years ago she was smoking a package of Export A every day and her father, who’d been smoking since WWII, was smoking 2 packs a day.

“New Year’s eve was a special celebration for my parents. They dressed to the nines and went dancing with friends. I was their designated driver this particular year and when we got home my Dad had a major coughing spell and I was very worried about him,” explains Farquharson.  “I asked him to quit and he said he would if I would.”

So, in the wee hours of January 1, 1975, Jane and her dad, John Farquharson, quit together and neither had another cigarette.  They supported each other through the challenging days, weeks and months ahead. “This was a major accomplishment that we shared and were proud of it,” says Farquharson.

While it's important to remember that no one can make someone quit smoking, the Canadian Cancer Society offers these tips on how to be a great support for someone making a quit attempt:

  • Bring up smoking in a non-judgmental way that shows you are genuinely concerned for their well-being and recognize that quitting is not always an easy thing to do.
  • Ask how you can help. It will show you care and that you really want to support them.
  • Offer to go for a walk or take them out of a situation where others are smoking.
  • Provide healthy snacks as an alternative.
  • Show them you believe in them and that you will be there for the ups and downs.
  • Give them an added incentive of a goal or reward to work towards.
  • Encourage them to access free resources proven to help people quit, such as the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline (www.SmokersHelpline.ca).

The majority of smokers want to quit and know it is the number one thing that they can do for their health.  For many people, quitting smoking is a complex process requiring multiple attempts to beat tobacco addiction for good. 

“This means every quit attempt is important,” says Farquharson. “Every cigarette you don’t smoke allows your body to begin to heal and get stronger.”  Research shows if people who smoke can stop for one month they are 5 times more likely to be able to remain smoke-free for good.

Smokers' Helpline is a free service that provides personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. Operated by the Canadian Cancer Society with funding from the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness, Smokers' Helpline offers support by telephone, online and text messaging.  To learn more, call 1 877-513-5333 or the number on cigarette packages or SmokersHelpline.ca.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization dedicated to preventing cancer, saving lives and supporting people living with cancer through research funding, services and advocacy. It’s Canada's largest charity fighting all types of cancer and leading authority on cancer statistics and information. To learn more, call 1 888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca.


For more information, please contact:

Lori Barker

Executive Director

Phone: 902-566-4007