Josmi Sodhi and Jacquie Dawe have the right idea about smoking. Photo by Bill Tremblay, Special to BayToday.ca.
Nipissing University has help for anyone who's flirted with the idea of quitting smoking.
A team of university students, known as Leave the Pack Behind, is reaching out to smokers who need help fighting their habit. The group also promotes cutting down on smoking or not getting started at all.
The group is holding a contest to help persuade smokers not to light up.
Prizes will be given to four categories of smokers: those who want to quit for good; cut their habit in half; party without smoking; and those who haven’t started at all.
The prizes range from a free course at Nipissing to $475 in gifts from Pharma Plus.
“I care about it so much,” said program coordinator and non-smoker Josmi Sodhi.
“The tobacco industry deliberately gets you hooked.”
Sodhi said tobacco companies intentionally make smoking seem less harmful then it really is.
“They’ve created a myth about mild and light cigarettes… which are just as bad for you,” Sodhi said.
To aid their fight, the group held an information session about the dangers of smoking, and methods of quitting.
Andria Reich, a fourth year pharmacy student from the University of Toronto, explained the best methods for dealing with cravings.
“Maintaining proper nutrition and hydration is a big one,” she said.
Reich explained that every cigarette smoked shortens a person's life by 14 minutes, and that smoking burns holes in pockets as well as lungs.
“Want a good way to save nearly $15,000?” Reich said.
Reich demonstrated that a pack a day smoker spends over $13,000 in five years of smoking.
Leave the Pack behind has been helping people quit for two years now at Nipissing. The organization also runs at 11 other campuses in Ontario.
Contact www.leavethepackbehind.org for more information.