Yellowknifer goes public, on decision to butt out

Killulark Arngna'naaq, 30, is excited to quit smoking after 18 years. Submitted photo
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Killulark Arngna’naaq is making the decision to quit smoking in a very public way.

In a humourous and fast-paced department of health video, the Yellowknife resident explains she is 60 per cent committed to quitting smoking. She jokingly says she wants to live and spare her dog any suffering.

“I want my dog to see me hit 80,” she says. “No dog should have to bury their owner.”

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Going public in this way has made a huge difference for Arngna’naaq as support from family and friends has poured in.

“Rather than me trying to quit myself and trying to keep it a personal journey, it helps to have that level of support.”

Quitting has been on her mind since she picked up a cigarette 18 years ago.

“When I started, and I imagined it’s similar with other people, I didn’t think it would be such a life long habit. It just seemed like something cool to do when I was a young teenager.”

Arngna’naaq has tried several techniques – the patch, cold turkey, e-cigarettes and the book ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’. Some wouldn’t work for her and others would temporarily. Then she would reward herself with a cigarette and begin smoking again, until last December.

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“I just turned 30 in December and now I don’t really want to continue feeding this habit that I’ve had forever.”

On National Non-Smoking Week, Arngna’naaq wants people who are wanting to quit to feel supported.

“When you’re trying to quit it feels like something you’re going to miss so much but in reality I think quitting will have such a positive effect on health, bank account, even mental state.”

NWT residents who are thinking about quitting can call a private, confidential help line at 1-866-286-5099. More information and resources can be found through NWT Health and Social Services.

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