Breaking up with tobacco is hard to do | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Breaking up with tobacco is hard to do

    They say that breaking up is hard to do. For some, their relationship with tobacco can span decades, and often outlast relationships.
    Breaking up is hard to do is the theme of this year’s National Non-Smoking Week from January 15-21 and for many that is a reality.
    While National Non-Smoking Week in Drumheller often focuses on youth activities warning of the dangers of tobacco and strategies for not starting, this year tobacco reduction/addictions councillor for Alberta Health Services Martin McSween said they are planning to talk to older populations.
    “We are going to start the week off by connecting with seniors and talking about National Non-Smoking Week, the QuitCore program and other options,” said McSween. “We are dealing with a population that is now 17 per cent in Canada and there are hardcore smokers, people who have been smoking for a long time and people who are just starting. There are youth still interested, still engaging, thinking they are cool. On the senior side, there are lots with old habits that are entrenched and don’t feel the need to change.”
    He said for many older smokers, they are motivated to quit when facing issues of health.
    “There are some who have come to us because their doctors have drawn the line,” said McSween. “That is usually someone who is facing an operation, and a doctor refuses to operate unless the person quits because there is too high of a risk.”
    The Drumheller office will be on the move during National Non-Smoking Week. McSween will be in Three Hills for the second week of the QuitCore cessation program. On Wednesday evening he will be in Hanna for the second week of QuitCore there.
    On Wednesday and Thursday McSween will be working with colleague Trina McFarlane in leading TRAC (tobacco reduction and cessation) training, targeted at health professionals and anybody working in a support manner, such as teachers or someone working in social services.
    “It is basic initial support and want to steer them to the next level of support, a triage person,” said McSween.
    He said it is a two-day intensive course which health professionals can receive training credit.
    Wednesday also marks Weedless Wednesday, a day for smokers to challenge themselves to go a day without smoking. The idea is if a person can go one day, could they push themselves further?
    Wednesday also marks another tradition in Drumheller during National Non-Smoking Week, and that is the annual Knee Hockey Challenge.
    Grade 6 students from Greentree School, Morrin School and St. Anthony’s will gather at Greentree to play in the annual tournament which has been running for 5 years. The Drumheller Dragons are also part of the action.
    More information can be found at Information on cessation can be found at

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