December 5th, 2020

Help available to quit tobacco


By Submitted Article on October 30, 2020.

Rita Aman

ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES

If you are considering making a change with your tobacco use, it’s important to reach out for support. Even though in-person support may be a bit limited right now, AlbertaQuits continues to offer lots of support, just delivered differently. Maybe it’s a good time to give this a try. Here is a list of support resources delivered through text, phone, email and virtual groups.

AlbertaQuits by TEXT is a three-month text messaging program that delivers motivation, advice and tips to your cell phone to help you quit. It’s designed for those who are ready to set a quit date within the next 30 days or have recently quit. Messages are tailored to your quit date. To register, text the word ABQUITS to number 123456.

When you register by cell:

– You will be prompted to text back your quit date in yyyy-mm-dd format.

– You will receive a confirmation message and a maximum of three messages per day.

– And if you don’t have a quit date, set your status to THINKING and they’ll help get you there.

The AlbertaQuits phone helpline is free for all residents of Alberta, open to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week. Call toll-free 1-866-710-7848 to receive confidential, non-judgmental support from trained Quit Counsellors. They will help you deal with cravings and help you stay motivated. Translation services can be provided. Register by calling 1-866-710-QUIT (7848). A Quit Counsellor will collect a brief smoking history and help you develop a personalized plan. Once enrolled, you will receive a series of arranged call-backs from a Quit Counsellor to support your quit.

eQuit Tips are emails containing helpful tips and strategies for quitting smoking and staying quit. The message frequency will change depending on where you are in your program and the content of messages are customized to your quit date. Register for e-mail tips by calling 1-866-710-7848 on sign in through http://www.albertquits.ca.

Virtual QuitCore is a free group support program that provides Albertans (18+) >with the tools and skills they need to quit using tobacco. The program consists of a set of six 90-minute online virtual sessions guided by a trained facilitator. Join a group online through your smartphone, tablet or computer to share your stories, learn new coping strategies and celebrate milestones together. >You will need a device with a video camera, audio, and a secure Internet connection.

To check dates, days and times of upcoming Virtual QuitCore groups visit the >Support Groups >page on the website. If you find an upcoming group you would like to attend, call the AlbertaQuits Helpline to register. There may be limited in-person groups offered in your area, check for dates and locations near you.

These are stressful times and maybe adding the extra stress of quitting smoking seems overwhelming. If you’re having trouble coping or dealing with stress, reach out to >the >Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642. Research shows that quitting smoking can improve your mental health, along with your physical health. The Mental Health Helpline is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day.

For additional information on cutting down or quitting your tobacco use, check out http://www.albertaquits.ca or call the AlbertaQuits Helpline at 1-866-710-7848.

Rita Aman is a Health Promotion Facilitator with Alberta Health Services. She can be reached by email, Rita.aman@ahs.ca.

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