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Weedless Wednesday – January 18, 2023

Weedless Wednesday takes place in the third full week of January, beginning on Sunday in the middle of National Non-Smoking Week, an annual event in Canada. This year it falls on January 18. Did you know that, on average, a smoker lives 10 years less than a non-smoker? This is why Weedless Wednesday encourages smokers of tobacco and recreational cannabis to quit the habit for 24 hours. National Non-Smoking Week is coordinated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control mainly as a week to inform Canadians about the risks of smoking; help non-smokers abstain from smoking; prevent addiction to tobacco, and help people quit smoking.

History of Weedless Wednesday

Weedless Wednesday is the highlight of National Non-Smoking Week, which encourages smokers to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. National Non-Smoking Week began with the theme “Kick the Habit” in 1977 as a medium to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, encourage smokers to break free from the addiction, and prevent non-smokers from getting into the habit.

For over 40 years, National Non-Smoking Week has been coordinated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control. According to the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, “The idea behind Weedless Wednesday is to promote a “one day at a time approach to quitting smoking, a concept appealing to many smokers who may be discouraged at the thought of an entire week – or lifetime – without cigarettes, but who may be able to cope with one smoke-free day”.

Granted, quitting the use of nicotine and cannabis may be quite tough due to their addictive tendencies. Many smokers have admitted that quitting smoking was like giving up their “best friend”. However, it’s always the healthiest choice as inhaling smoke or vapor from these substances may pose long-term health risks and have negative health impacts. Smoking reduces good cholesterol in the body, thereby increasing the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Smoking also causes a spike in blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke.

Health professionals assert that quitting smoking for as short as an hour offers great health benefits. Ceasing the consumption of tobacco and cannabis products results in a decline in carbon monoxide and an increase in oxygen levels within the first 12 hours. Smokers who also quit for a full day may also reduce the risk of having a heart attack within that time.

Weedless Wednesday timeline

6000 B.C.
The Beginning

Native Americans start cultivating tobacco.

1531
Tobacco in Santo Domingo

Tobacco is cultivated for the first time in Santo Domingo.

1881
Cigarettes Grow into Prominence

Cigarettes become more popular following the invention of the cigarette-making machine by James Bonsack.

1992
E.T.S. Linked with Cancer

The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) classifies environmental tobacco smoke (E.T.S.) as a “Group A” carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogen.

Weedless Wednesday FAQs

When did humans start smoking?

Smoking is widely believed to have started around 5000 B.C. in the Americas through shamanistic rituals. Cultivation, usage, and commercial trading of tobacco became more widespread following the advent of the European colonizers in the 16th century.

What was the original purpose of smoking?

Smoking was initially a part of religious ceremonies and used for medicinal purposes in Native America. Native Americans used tobacco as a multipurpose remedy for pain relief, alleviating toothaches, and dressing wounds. Dried tobacco leaves were also a valuable possession among the natives, and they used them as objects of barter and even gave them as a gift.

Who first started smoking tobacco?

Smoking originally began with Native Americans who were also the first to cultivate the tobacco plant around 6000 B.C. Indigenous American tribes smoked tobacco in religious ceremonies and used them for medicinal purposes.

Weedless Wednesday Activities

  1. Butt out for 24 hours

    The simplest and most remarkable way to observe Weedless Wednesday and National Non-Smoking Week is to abstain from using all forms of tobacco and cannabis products for one full day. It could be the start of a healthier lifestyle for you. In just one day after quitting smoking, your blood pressure will begin to drop, and your oxygen levels will rise!

  2. Encourage others

    If you’re a non-smoker, take advantage of this week – and especially, this day – to encourage smokers around you to participate and choose to stop smoking for one day. Of course, quitting an addiction is challenging, but the health benefits are numerous.

  3. Speak up

    On Weedless Wednesday and throughout National Non-Smoking Week, speak up against smoking in your organization. Invite health professionals to a symposium to inform others about the dangers of smoking, and the benefits of quitting. Offer support for smoking addicts and implore them to seek help.

5 SHOCKING FACTS ABOUT SMOKING YOU SHOULD KNOW

  1. Smokers in the world

    According to WHO, there are about 1.3 billion smokers in the world today, with the number expected to increase to 1.6 billion by 2025.

  2. Smoking reduces life expectancy

    On average, smoking reduces your life expectancy by 13 years; by 16 years if you have H.I.V. and are a smoker.

  3. Smoking-related deaths in the U.S.

    Smoking accounts for one in every five deaths in the U.S.; over 480,000 Americans die from smoking every year!

  4. Cigarettes on sale

    Approximately 10 million cigarettes are bought each minute around the world; 15 billion are sold per day, and more than six trillion are produced and used per year.

  5. Deaths by second-hand smoke

    Out of the eight million smoking-related deaths reported globally every year, 1.2 million are due to second-hand smoke.

Why We Love Weedless Wednesday

  1. It advocates for better health

    Smoking is linked to many deadly diseases, such as lung cancer, cancer of the bladder, throat, blood, bone marrow, cervix, liver, mouth, pancreas, colon, and so on. This day encourages the cessation of smoking as a way to live a healthier life and break free from harmful habits.

  2. It restores relationships

    Smoking also hampers fruitful relationships, such as sending off potential matches and reducing sex drive. Also, smokers may suffer isolation from family members and colleagues who want to avoid second-hand smoke. Quitting smoking, even if it’s just for 24 hours, could help restore broken relationships.

  3. Time to clean up

    Smoking doesn’t only harm the bodies of smokers, it also pollutes the environment. This is why many states in the U.S. and many countries around the world have banned smoking in public spaces as environmental tobacco smoke (E.T.S.) poses a health risk to non-smokers. Weedless Wednesday also emphasizes a cleaner, smoke-free environment for all.

Weedless Wednesday dates

YearDateDay
2022January 19Wednesday
2023January 18Wednesday
2024January 24Wednesday
2025January 22Wednesday
2026January 21Wednesday

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