by Wayne Skinner, CAMH Deputy Clinical Director, Addictions Programs
World No Tobacco Day is on May 31, and I’ve been reflecting how attitudes to cigarettes have drastically evolved in recent history.
When I started working as a therapist at the Addiction Research Foundation (which became part of CAMH in 1998) in the late 1970s, I can remember a client, proudly receiving my praise for having successfully withdrawn from heroin, taking out a cigarette and saying, “Now if I could only quit these!”
In those days, we didn’t even ask people if they smoked when we took drug histories. Indeed, it was more common than not for counsellors to offer clients a cigarette as a friendly way of starting a session.