CORNWALL – As part of National Non-Smoking Week 2015 the Break It Off truck, accompanied by MP Guy Lauzon, was parked outside of St. Lawrence College, Cornwall Campus. The truck is part of a large quit smoking tour, established by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, which has made its way across Canada. The tour is reaching out to young Canadians between the ages of 20 and 24, to quit smoking while they’re ahead.
Lauzon is a reformed smoker who passionately advocates that all Canadians quit smoking, for their health and their wallet. “In 35 years you could save $127,750,” said Lauzon, “that’s an average of 638,750 cigarettes.”
The Break It Off campaign is part of National Non-Smoking Week as well as part of Canada’s $4.8 million investment to help young Canadians. The campaign targets young adults because “If two teenagers start smoking today, one of them will die because of smoking,” explains Lauzon. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it’s estimated that smoking is related to more than 85 per cent of lung cancer deaths in Canada. Today, 16 per cent of Canada’s overall population are smokers – a significant decrease for 50 per cent in 1960, which is attributed to better education.
The campaign is designed to give people a link to coaches, peer support on top of spreading awareness. It gives young Canadians a chance to connect with other smokers trying to quit, or non-smokers a way to support and advocate the cause. The incentive and drive for this campaign is “What would you do with $2,000?” which is what the average smoker could save in a year.
The campaign hopes the new smoking laws put into effect on Jan. 1 will create a good incentive for many people to quit smoking. These laws have banned smoking in public park areas, on bar patios as well as prohibiting tobacco sales on college campuses. These laws will create a healthier environment for everyone, and also act as a greater push to encourage Canadians to break the habit.
The Student Union at St Lawrence College is also running a quit smoking challenge. The “wouldurather” campaign, hosted by Leave The Pack Behind, is a six week challenge with a range of prizes based on different levels of cutting back or quitting.