I Wish I Knew How To Quit You
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I Wish I Knew How To Quit You

National Non-Smoking Week starts January 20—as most New Year’s resolutions to quit go up in smoke. It’s a shame that the National Non-Smoking Week website sucks. The layout is plain, the links aren’t updated frequently, and the only materials up for 2008 are a few fact sheets and posters with this year’s theme, “Taking My Life Back From Tobacco.” (The artsier French version is better: “Ma nouvelle vie sans tabac” or “My new life without tobacco.”) The lack of enthusiasm might explain why Toronto has nothing new online for planned 2008 activities. (Although you can’t flick a butt without hitting an article about how bad smoking is for you.)
So, Torontoist to the rescue with three helpful tips to celebrate National Non-Smoking Week!

Unleash Your Inner Oprah.

If you’re helping a friend quit, try to give positive reinforcement. Researchers have found that positive messages are more effective than negative messages in helping smokers quit. Remind the smoker that a life without tobacco includes increased energy, savings of $2,000 to $4,000 per year, and, if the quitter is a boy, a firmer penis. (Wouldn’t that image make an awesome National Non-Smoking Week poster?)

Lead Them to Emotional Support.

You can also guide the smoker to the Smokers’ Helpline Online. The site, part of the Canadian Cancer Society, provides information, a phone helpline, and even includes an online “Quit Buddy” to instant message for advice and quit support.

Tell Amusing Stories About Crazy-Addicted Squirrel Monkeys.

Remember that nicotine is highly addictive. (Quitting is tough and almost 75% of those who try will fail.) In 2007, a study was done on squirrel monkeys to test the addictiveness of nicotine. The squirrel monkeys could self-administer nicotine by pressing a lever and, with time, the researchers increased the number of times the lever had to be pressed to receive nicotine. By the end, researchers found that:

The animals would slap the lever for hours to get their fix, the researchers found, and some were willing to hit the lever as many as 600 times for a burst of the drug.

Slaphappy strung-out squirrel monkeys? Now that image should be on the National Non-Smoking Week poster.
Photo by mrpattersonsir.