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October 11, 2001 Butt out with help from friends at work



Ashtray by Christian Fleury

Photo by Christian Fleury

by Barbara Black

Ready to quit? If you are seriously thinking about stopping smoking, there is now help for you on campus.

I Quit, a group program for staff and faculty, is an eight-week program facilitated by Concordia Health Services and sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, which, in turn, is supported by the Office of the Vice-Rector, Institutional Relations, and Secretary-General.

Sessions will take place on the SGW campus every Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., from Oct. 23 to December 11, as well as a session on Thursday, November 15. Groups in English and French, can also be organized for your department according to your schedule. The participation fee is only $25 — for a program that would cost you much more outside Concordia.

About 27 per cent of adults smoke. People who have quit say it is one of the most satisfying things that they have ever done.

Vice-Rector Marcel Danis, who strongly supports the program, said in a memo to Concordia’s EAP committee, “I believe your program is timely, not only because of legislation prohibiting smoking in the workplace.

“I have recently learned that some physicians refuse to perform certain surgical operations on smokers. There is no doubt that society’s view of smoking is changing.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Smoking-related illnesses (i.e., cardiovascular, cancer and pulmonary diseases) lead to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.

Concordia health and life insurance premiums are on the rise, and are now higher for smokers. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, you spent close to $2,000 this year on cigarettes. This could have bought you a tropical vacation. Think about it.

Places in the program are limited. For information or to register, call Angie Trubiano at Health Services, 848-3569.

Marina Wolanski is ready to quit

Marina Wolanski, the administrative assistant in the Concordia Residence, is tired of waking up with a foul-tasting mouth. She’s tired of hiding her habit from her non-smoking husband, and tired of rationalizing her on-again, off-again love affair with cigarettes.

She has quit before — once for five years, once for one year, once for three months. “I’m OK until summer comes, and then I start again,” she said. “I associate smoking with relaxation.” At the end of the summer, she quits, or tapers off. Then comes Christmas, with all the parties.

“I’m not a huge smoker — between three and six cigarettes a day. But that can go up to a pack if I go out for an evening.”

She thinks her age group (she is 36) is particularly susceptible. “They all smoke. I’ll have to get new friends,” she added, only half joking. “I decided I need to follow a program. It’s just so socially unacceptable now. It’s gross.”

We’re behind you, Marina, and we’ll follow your progress as you follow the I Quit program being offered through EAP.