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Reduce Your Risk

There are many benefits to quitting tobacco use, especially if you are going to have surgery or cancer treatment.

What can I do?

We know that quitting smoking is hard, especially if you have been smoking for a long time, but there are many resources and people who can help!

  • The best thing for your health is to quit using any type of cigarette or tobacco product.
  • Talk to a health care professional (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, counsellor). This will help you to get started and motivated.
  • Share your quit plan with friends and loved ones. They can offer support.
  • Avoid places where you know there will be people smoking or using tobacco.
  • Understand that it may take a few tries before you completely stop.
  • Try a quitting aid, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or stop-smoking medication. Nicotine gum is also helpful. Make sure you chew and then hold it against the inside of your cheek.
  • Use the internet and free telephone-based resources to get help and support.


  • If you are a smoker who has tried quitting smoking with other methods that have not worked, it would be better for your health to use e-cigarettes if it helps you stay off regular cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes should not be used by youth, non-smokers or ex-smokers who quit completely, as they usually contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.
  • It is best not to start using e-cigarettes.

Tobacco Use and Surgery

If you are going to have a surgery, stop using tobacco before the surgery (8 weeks before is best!). This can lower your risk of complications like:

  • Problems when under anesthetic.
  • Slower wound healing and higher chance of infection.
  • Risk of lung and chest infection after surgery.
  • Longer hospital stay.

Protect yourself and your family

  • Have a no-smoking rule in your home.
  • Have a no-smoking rule in your car, even when windows are down.
  • Take your kids to tobacco free places.
  • Teach kids to avoid second-hand smoke.
  • During an outing try to go to smoke-free places.

Quitting in BC
In BC there are many free, helpful resources to help you on your journey to stop using tobacco products. See our Tobacco Resources page for more information.

  • The BC Smoking Cessation program offers free tobacco cessation aids to BC residents with active Medical Services Plan coverage and those eligible for Fair Pharmacare.
  • Call 811 to register for the BC Smoking Cessation Program, to find out about free NRT or get information on financial help to buy stop-smoking medication.
  • Use the internet and free telephone-based resources to get help and support. In British Columbia, call 811 and ask for QuitNow, visit, or use QuitNow's text service: text "Join" to 654321.
  • With second-hand smoke exposure, fortunately in Vancouver there are bylaws in place that prohibit smoking inside public buildings and most businesses, and within six metres of windows, doors and air intakes.
  • The other place smoking is banned is in parks.
More health benefits

The good news is that quitting smoking decreases not just your risk of cancer but ALSO of other health conditions.

Smoking tobacco, using other forms of tobacco and second-hand smoke exposure can lead to:
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Lung disease
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
By stopping the use of tobacco products and second-hand smoke exposure, you also reduce your risk of developing these health conditions.


  • People who quit smoking, whatever their age, can increase the number of years they live compared with those who continue to smoke.
  • People who are going to have surgery can lower their risk for complications and problems with healing, by quitting tobacco use.
  • Food will taste better!
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SOURCE: Reduce Your Risk ( )
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