NATIONAL Non-Smoking Week was marked Jan. 20-26 and a number of local businesses and organizations showed their commitment to the cause.
The following is a rundown of initiatives focused on helping people break their habits in the interest of leading healthier lives.
? Grouse Mountain was among 10 anti-tobacco champions recently honoured with an award from the B.C. Lung Association and Heart and Stroke Foundation, B.C. and Yukon. The resort received the nod due to its decision to go smoke-free in 2009.
? Those looking to quit smoking are encouraged to take advantage of B.C.'s Smoking Cessation Program. According to a press release, the program aims to help British Columbians stop smoking by assisting with the cost of smoking cessation aids. Once in each calendar year, B.C. residents enrolled with the Medical Services Plan can receive coverage for a single continuous course, lasting up to 12 weeks, of either a prescribed smoking cessation drug through the PharmaCare program or a free supply of nicotine replacement gum or patches.
While a prescription for a smoking cessation drug can be obtained by visiting a physician for another reason, the nicotine replacement therapies can be accessed by calling HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those who register with the program are able to receive further web, text and telephone support from QuitNow Services, which is operated by the B.C. Lung Association. Info: health.gov. bc.ca/pharmacare/stop-smok-ing or quitnow.ca.
? London Drugs offers year-round Smoking Cessation Clinics, which assist smokers with an action plan for choosing the right tools to quit and provides a personalized approach based on a particular patient's needs. Appointments can be made anytime with a London Drugs patient care pharmacist at your nearest pharmacy.
? Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor and Vancouver Coastal Health have teamed up to encourage people to stomp out smoking while skiing and snowboarding on local mountains. McIvor, a Whistler native, is featured in the new VCH tobacco-free awareness campaign targeting youth, that includes a website, your-call.ca, and chairlift ads on Mount Seymour.