By: Ted Simpson

Health services at Algonquin are offering free nicotine supplements to students looking for help with their cigarette addiction.

Drop in to room C141, just across from the registrar’s office, with your health card, and one of Algonquin’s registered nurses will help you create a quit smoking strategy that will work for you based on how long you have been smoking, how much you smoke per day and how quickly you plan to be smoke free.

“We have had a lot of students [quitting smoking], especially in the last two weeks,” said nurse Carol Hopkey.
In addition to counseling, health services offers free nicotine supplements in the form of gum and patches. The average cost of these products at the local drug store can range from $25 to $40.

There are mint and fruit flavours and you get two boxes with 36 pieces of gum in each box. Depending on how much you smoke, they can give you a 2 mg dose or a 4 mg dose. Just keep in mind that this is not like regular gum. Chewing it quickly will release too much nicotine and it can make you feel a little sick.

Of course just telling you to quit smoking is not enough, and you are going to need to find your own reason.

“Cost is the big one [reason], students don’t have a lot of money,” said Hopky. “Sometimes [students] are in health professions and they don’t want to be seen as a smoker anymore.”

Health is a big reason, of course. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease and all other kinds of nasty health problems. But by quitting right now you can save yourself a lot of complications later in life.

“The evidence is that within two years you will have the lungs of a non smoker,” Hopky said. “You’re still young, so you have a lot of good cells. You quit smoking now, you are probably not going to die of emphysema.”