Many Albertans may be considering a New Year’s resolution to quit tobacco, and Alberta Health Services (AHS) is here to help make that happen.  

National Non-Smoking Week runs Jan. 15 to 23, and this year’s theme is Sometimes People Love a Quitter. AHS is reminding Albertans of the resources available to them to help quit and raising awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco.  

Every year, more than 4,000 Albertans die because of tobacco use, while tens of thousands more Albertans have serious tobacco-related illnesses that greatly affect their quality of life.  

Commercial tobacco use (such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco) is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death in Alberta, and increases the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, oral cancers, chronic lung disease, diabetes and other illnesses. Quitting tobacco is one of the best ways to improve health and well-being. It may take several quit attempts to succeed, so it’s important to not give up.  

AHS has programs and services to help Albertans quit:  

  • AlbertaQuits Helpline,1-866-710-QUIT (7848), which provides one-to-one telephone counselling.  
  • Free text message service that gives tips and motivational messaging to help people quit. The text service includes support for quitting vaping and a live chat feature with quit counsellors. Enroll today by texting ABQUITS to 123456.  
  • The website, which provides information and tools for preparing people to quit.  
  • QuitCore, a group support program that provides individuals with the strategies and skills they need to quit tobacco, while connecting them with others who are also trying to quit. This program is offered in person, as well as virtually through Zoom.  
  • Use of cessation medications increases your chances of success and the cost of the medications may be covered.  

Check with your provider for coverage information. Information and resources are available at health clinics, pharmacies and dental offices in many communities and AHS locations, including cessation services created for patients who use tobacco or tobacco-like products.  

Tobacco use (both daily and occasional) has been steadily declining for the last 20 years in the general population, according to the 2021 Canadian Community Health Survey.

Information provided by Alberta Health Services