Haley John Shimout Anawak

Hey everyone, my name is Haley John Shimout Anawak.

I am originally from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut but have lived half my life in Ottawa, many years in Rankin Inlet, and a few years in Iqaluit. I have had many different types of jobs throughout my life so far. I have met so many great people, people that I will never forget, people that have had a huge effect on my life.

I am here to talk to you about Tobacco Use. I used to smoke cigarettes and I was very young when I started. For those of you who don’t use it, that is great, please don’t start!! If you already do, please quit as it is killing you.

Whether you see it in movies, hear it in songs, see one of your friends or family members doing it, using tobacco isn’t cool, it doesn’t make you cool, it really does hurt you and it definitely can kill you. Do not give into peer pressure, no matter who they are, and just because you see someone else using tobacco, does not make it alright for you to do it. It causes many illnesses including many forms of cancers that are extremely deadly.

It makes your breath stink, your clothes stink, and if you smoke in your vehicle, in your house, in front of your work building (which you aren’t allowed to smoke within the 3 meters of any entrance or exit) it makes those areas stink as well.

Fellow Nunavummiut spend over $40million a year just on tobacco products. That money alone can be put towards something that we actually need; like housing, food, clothing, and many more things that would be a much better choice to spend on.

For all the parents that smoke, please do not smoke near your children, whether you would be holding their hand, walking them in a stroller, having them in your amautik, inside your house, their body is still developing inside and out (especially if you smoke while you are pregnant). Your child’s health and growth is extremely important. We must create a better future, not just for ourselves, but for all generations. Children are like sponges, they soak up everything they see, what we tell them, and what we do.

We all must come together in a unity that will keep us strong, one that will define us as a great revolution in the books, one that we can be truly proud of.

We need to stop using tobacco as a “healing” medicine. It numbs the nerves; it tricks the brain into thinking it actually relaxes us and does no other harm, or that the harm will only come later in the years of using tobacco. We cannot go on living like this; we won’t go on living like this. We lose too many of our own to many causes, tobacco should not be one of them. No parent should ever bury their child.

If you want to quit, you are not alone. Ask all of your friends and family for support as well as we many resources you can use. You can visit your local nursing station to talk to a nurse or doctor about products such as the Nicotine Patches, Nicorette Gum, or even the Nicotine Inhalers. We also have the Quit Line which you can call for 24hrs, for many other people who have trouble with trying to quit, always remember that there is always hope, whether you try to quit today, or tomorrow, or next week, or whenever you decide to quit, there is always hope!! The sooner you decide to quit, the better, not just for you, but for all your loved ones around you.

There is always help, there is always someone you can talk to, someone you can trust, to help you quit. It definitely is a hard and rocky road, you will feel down, you will feel you need it, you will have many cravings, you will think “just one more puff and I will quit” or even “just one more pack and I will quit” and even “I can quit anytime I want to without anyone telling what to do” but we aren’t here to tell you what to do, we are here to tell you what you are doing is harmful to yourself and everyone around you. That you aren’t alone in this battle, in this fight, on this rocky road to quitting.

 “Stay Positive, Be Happy, and Keep the Momentum Going”