Minister of Health Margaret MacDiarmid issued the following statement in recognition of National Non-Smoking Week from Jan. 20 to 26, Weedless Wednesday on Jan. 23 and to acknowledge the B.C. Smoking Cessation Program:
“Smoking increases many health risks, including lung cancer, throat and oral cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema. For long-term smokers, it’s never a bad time to quit. Through the Smoking Cessation Program, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians are taking active steps towards making a healthy choice for themselves and their families. Quitting smoking and reducing exposure to second-hand smoke greatly improves both quality of life and lifespan.
“While B.C. has the lowest smoking rate in Canada at 14.2 per cent, there are still approximately 550,000 British Columbians who smoke. An estimated 70 per cent of smokers in B.C. want to quit.
“There are a range of supports in place through our Smoking Cessation Program, and accessing them can be as simple as calling HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.”