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Health Monitor: Butt it out; and AHS a top employer

Local program kicks smoking habit to the curb A smoking cessation course will be launching next month at the Sturgeon Community Hospital. QuitCore is a two-month program, designed to support people wanting to nip their smoking habit in the bud.
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Alberta Health Services is promoting smoking cessation.

Local program kicks smoking habit to the curb

A smoking cessation course will be launching next month at the Sturgeon Community Hospital.

QuitCore is a two-month program, designed to support people wanting to nip their smoking habit in the bud.

“Individuals who are attending this program have been smoking for decades,” said Jamil Ramji, program facilitator for QuitCore.

The program runs Mondays from 3 to 4:30 p.m., from Feb. 25 to April 1. Through QuitCore, participants will learn how to handle withdrawals and manage stressful situations – like the workplace – that could lead to relapse.

It will also help people discover what triggers a craving and how to alter their environments.

For those who enjoy smoking in their car on the way to work, Ramji suggests getting the car detailed to bring in the “new car smell” or taking a different route to work.

“One of the strategies that we teach is moving from a mindless smoker, where you’re just smoking out of habit, out of just typical behaviour, and reflecting on every cigarette smoked,” he explained.

Ramji said people will make an average of eight to 12 attempts to quit smoking before they are successful.

To increase chances of success, he said it’s important to recognize that smoking tobacco is an addiction – and that each failed attempt to quit is a learning experience for the next time.

“If you consider every attempt a learning opportunity, you’re likely to be tobacco-free (longer) with every attempt,” he said.

On average, someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day will spend up to $5,000 every year, Ramji noted.

According to Alberta Health Services, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death in Alberta. More than 3,000 Albertans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses and diseases.

Statistics Canada released a fact sheet in 2017, noting around five million Canadians 12 years old and older smoke either daily or occasionally.

Tobacco includes the addictive substance nicotine, as well as more than 7,000 other chemicals. According to AHS, 70 of those are cancer causing. Spit tobacco has around 4,000 chemicals, with around 30 of those being cancer causing.

For those looking to kick the habit, QuitCore is a free program. For more information visit: https://www.albertaquits.ca/.

Top dog

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has been named one of Canada’s top employers for young people in a competition organized by the Canada's Top 100 Employers project.

Each employer is evaluated by editors from the project, who assess them on the programs they have to attract and retain younger workers.

Some of the other factors involved include tuition assistance and the availability of co-op or work-study mentorship.

AHS was also awarded as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, and last year was recognized for being a top Alberta employer.

As to why the health organization was selected as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People, the editorial team for the competition noted AHS’s transitional graduate nurse program, as well as a residency program for organizational, clinical and social support for recently graduated registered nurses.

AHS was also recognized for providing resources to help graduates transition into the workplace and for its partnership with Careers: The Next Generation.





Dayla Lahring

About the Author: Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.
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