There is simply no easy fix to going smoke-free, says Suzanne Gaby, manager of the BC Lung Association’s QuitNow program.
“However, while there may be no magic bullet there is certainly a successful approach,” said Gaby. “People who made full use of the QuitNow program — including free, one-on-one counseling with a Quit Coach — have seen amazing results: a 24-per-cent success rate versus four to seven per cent for those going it alone.”
The reason why the QuitNow approach is so successful, Gaby said, is that it is personally tailored to each individual. At the heart of this approach are the program’s Quit Coaches – trained cessation counselors who help guide smokers through the planning and preparation process.
Danielle Kochan, a Quit Coach with the program for five years, explains their motivational interviewing process.
“Everybody has their own story of why they smoke and what’s motivating them to quit. No two calls are ever the same and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next.”
Noting that on average it takes eight major attempts before anybody quits smoking, Kochan tells people not to be discouraged by setbacks along the way.
“I like to teach people to think of slips and relapses as opportunities to learn what triggers their smoking. Once you understand what’s driving you to smoke you can plan to be better prepared in the future.”
Since 2011, QuitNow has helped more than 20,000 British Columbians with their quitting process. Quit Coaches are available to talk via phone (1-877-455-2233) or live chat at QuitNow.ca, where people can also find a comprehensive planning tool, a community forum, and information about the BC Smoking Cessation Program, which offers free quitting aids such as the gum and patch.