“Don’t quit quitting!” – Former smoker shares advice to help you quit smoking

Did you know the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer is to live smoke-free? Smoking causes about 72% of lung cancer cases. And with lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women nationwide, the facts are clear: smoking shortens lives.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to quit. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking, you can reduce your risk of cancer by quitting. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your body starts bouncing back and after 10 years of living smoke-free, your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half. Your lungs, heart and entire body will experience the benefits from the minute you stop smoking!

Cindy from Saskatoon knows first-hand the positive impact of quitting. After close to 35 years of smoking, she has been smoke-free for over a year! But, she admits it’s not easy – it’s a daily challenge. Here, she shares what keeps her motivated and how the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline helped her on her personal journey to quit.

Watch Cindy and another former smoker share their personal experience

Don't quit quitting

Cindy holding up a cheque of her money prize
Cindy holding her cash prize

“I quit many times,” shared Cindy. “I quit one time for four years and still started again.”


The next time she tried, she entered herself into our First Week Challenge Contest. Open to eligible residents of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon, this contest challenges smokers to give up smoking for the first 7 days of the month for a chance to win $500. Research shows that if you are successful for the first week, you’re 9X more likely to quit for good.


Cindy was a lucky winner and after receiving the cash prize, she made a promise to herself that keeps her committed to quitting.


“The promise that I made myself is that if I ever start again, I’ll have to pay it back,” shared Cindy. “I’ve wanted to smoke a couple of times but knowing that it’ll be a $500 cigarette has changed my mind.”


This personal promise is just one of the ways Cindy has remained smoke-free. She uses other methods, like seeking support through our Smokers’ Helpline, website, and her friends.


“Don’t quit quitting,” shared Cindy. “Five minutes into it [quitting], I was struggling. I went to the “Don’t quit quitting,” shared Cindy. “Five minutes into it [quitting], I was struggling. I went to the Canadian Cancer Society website to see if they had any hints or tips and found it very helpful – I still go on it.” to see if they had any hints or tips and found it very helpful – I still go on it.”


How we can help you quit


Quitting is a personal experience and every smoker quits a little differently. Some people quit gradually, while others stop and start many times, like Cindy. There’s no right way to quit smoking.


What we know is that getting support more than doubles your chances of quitting successfully. Combining counselling from a doctor, pharmacist or quitline with quit aids can more than triple your chances of quitting successfully.


We’re here to help with proven methods for quitting and trusted information. Speak to a caring and non-judgemental quit coach through a quitline, access a supportive online community 24/7, use a self-help booklet or overcome cravings and withdrawals by getting fit.


Discover all the different services and programs available across the country. Use our Quit Map tool to find nearby support online, by phone or in-person.


Get help quitting