Time to Quit? Join ImAQuitter.ca during National Non-Smoking Week

Toronto, ON, January 14, 2010 – January is often seen as a time for renewal. Some people quit something, others start something. This year, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), with support from Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial, started something — a new online fundraising campaign called “i quit” and is encouraging Canadians to visit www.imaquitter.ca to sign up and make a pledge to quit a bad habit or start a positive one while raising funds to help transform the lives of people affected by addiction and mental health issues. January 17 to 23, 2010 marks national non-smoking week, which is a great time to butt out.

Whether you are simply cutting back on sweets or dealing with the challenges of a nicotine addiction, Dennis James, Deputy Clinical Director, Addictions Program, CAMH, offers the following tips:

  • If you choose to give up a bad habit or start a positive one, tell people because the more support you have the better.
  • Set and write down your goals rather than just verbalizing a resolution. Then check back often.
  • Implement other coping strategies to deal with the stress like deep breathing. Try keeping a diary and write down every time you get a craving and how you are feeling at that particular time.
  • Identify and be aware of your triggers and avoid them. For example, many smokers find boredom, hunger, drinking alcohol or coffee are linked to their desire to smoke.
  • Change your routines. If giving up smoking, go for a walk after meals instead of having a cigarette.
  • When having a nicotine craving try chewing gum or drink sweet liquids and water.
  • Make your environment, such as your car or home, completely smoke free.
  • Smoke only half of the cigarette and delay the time between each cigarette. Only smoke the cigarettes you feel you must have and see if you can drop the rest.
  • Consider nicotine replacement such as gum, lozenges or inhalers. Those experiencing significant withdrawal may require a nicotine patch.
  • Visit imaquitter.ca or camh.net for more information.

The campaign is already off to a great start thanks to support from Sun Life Financial – who has made a generous commitment to match funds raised during the campaign up to a total maximum of $50,000.

About The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development, prevention and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. camh.net