We are almost a month into our New Year’s resolutions, and many have tried to get rid of bad habits. One habit could be smoking.
Leave the Pack Behind is a club funded by Health Canada to help young people quit smoking.
Leave The Pack Behind began in 2000, in response to a call for proposals from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Now with many years of experience, Leave The Pack Behind is considered a best-practice program for addressing tobacco use among young adults.
LTPB started at Brock University and has spread to universities and colleges across Ontario. Michelle Lau, the Campus Program Coordinator at Western University, says that their club offers free nicotine-replacement therapy to help youth quit their bad habit.
Lau says, “It’s a huge way to help people quit smoking and as students we don’t have the financial resources to necessarily afford that. So being able to give that to students or anybody between the ages of 18 to 29 free and anonymously, hopefully more people will be able to tap into that resource and use it as a way to quit smoking.”
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 29 can visit their website or go to a campus clinic where they will speak with a Doctor who will create a medical plan for them to quit.
Lau says many young people are addicted to smoking, “University and college students about 20% of the population is smoking. I know it’s a little surprising when we look around campus and we don’t see a lot of people doing that, but based on our statistics, that is the number we are getting, and that is consistent at our University.”
LTPB is hosting a campaign called “wouldurather” to motivate smokers to quit their bad habit.The name for this program was adopted with permission, from the World Health Organization’s 1999 World No Tobacco Day campaign. There are 4 categories of smokers for this program shown below. Depending on what category you fit into, contestants can win up to $5000 to leave the pack behind for good.
Sunday January 22nd is the last day to sign up for the “wouldurather” program.
Leave the Pack Behind at Western also has weekly booths Monday to Thursday inside the Wellness Education Centre from 11:30 to 2:30pm where you can pick up prizes, resources and ask representatives any questions you have.