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BUTT OUT FOR GOOD

World No Tobacco Day is Ideal Time to Kick the Habit With Free and Effective Resources to Quit Smoking

There are more effective ways to quit smoking than to use acupuncture, hypnosis, laser therapy or electronic cigarettes.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is promoting other no-charge options that can be a better fit for local smokers trying to quit. The Health Unit’s message comes in the week leading up to World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

“Acupuncture and hypnosis can be expensive and time-consuming. While they may help people relax, there is little evidence to show these treatments reduce smoking rates,” says Karen Taylor, RN, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

Taylor has similar concerns about electronic cigarettes. Health Canada discourages people from using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, since they have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and effectiveness.

“There are simpler ways to quit smoking right in your own community,” Taylor says.

One popular option is the Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) program. It has provided free counseling and medication, including nicotine patches, gum and inhalers, to more than 80,000 people across Ontario. Research shows that providing free nicotine patches and similar products greatly increases the chances of quitting smoking, Taylor says.

To find out more about STOP, local residents can check with a Community Health Centre in their area. If people are patients of a Family Health Team, they should check with their health care providers to see if they are eligible for STOP. Pharmacists and other health care providers can assist with quitting smoking as well.

Another option to help people quit is the Smokers’ Helpline (1-877-513-5333 or www.smokershelpline.ca). This free service offers telephone counseling, online counselling, and texting to help people successfully quit.

Approximately 13,000 people in Ontario die every year due to smoking-related illnesses. “On World No Tobacco Day, let’s work towards saving lives and decreasing tobacco-related illnesses by encouraging smokers to become successful quitters,” Taylor says.

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For media inquiries, contact:
Karen Taylor, RN, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 329.

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