Run to quit

Gary Anand

Mississauga, Ontario

Walk or run your way to a smoke-free life

With the holiday season here, you may be thinking about New Year’s resolutions.

Whether your motivation is to get healthy or save money, to quit smoking for a loved one or for yourself, the important thing is to make the decision to quit.

Gary Anand started smoking when he was just 13. Like many people, his annual New Year’s resolution was to quit smoking. And in 2016, he finally did it. How? By joining Run to Quit.

You may be thinking “I’m not a runner,” but Run to Quit is an innovative quit-smoking program that pairs the quitting expertise of the Canadian Cancer Society with Running Room Canada’s Learn to Walk or Run 5 km clinics. And it offers cash prize incentives to remain smoke-free.The step-by-step program has been shown to help smokers cope with discomfort and cravings through its simple and encouraging approach to cutting down and getting active.

Because Gary had quit before and then relapsed after having “just one” cigarette, he made a game plan to stay away from cigarettes until he was over the cravings. For his strategy to work he had to change routines, such as not going outside with his colleagues for smoke breaks. “Instead, I would walk around the block or do something else.”

He used other tactics to become tobacco-free, including tracking his savings of $20 a week, which meant extra tickets to sporting events. Winning $1000 from Run to Quit was an added bonus.

Now Gary’s success is inspiring others to quit too. “I’ve talked to people at work and they’re going to join Run to Quit and make it part of their New Year’s resolutions this year.”