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RESOLVING TO QUIT

- S.T.O.P. Program to Offer Free Nicotine Patches to Smokers Who Want to Quit in the New Year -

If your New Year’s resolution is to give up smoking, there is extra help available to quit in 2015.

The STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program is coming to Cobourg, Lindsay and Campbellford in the first several weeks of the New Year. STOP is a program that supports smokers trying to quit by providing them with five weeks of nicotine patches at no cost. Smokers who attend the free STOP Program will also get educational material and other resources to help them in the quitting process.

“This is the time of year when many people resolve to become tobacco-free,” says Karen Taylor, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Giving up smoking can be a challenge, and that’s where the STOP Program can help you achieve your goal of becoming a successful quitter!”

The Health Unit is partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to bring the STOP Program to the area. Sessions are being offered on the following dates:

• On January 22 in Cobourg.

• On January 28 in Lindsay.

• On February 19 in Campbellford.

To see if they qualify for the STOP Program, local smokers are asked to call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2240. They can also get more details on exact times and locations for each session.

Over the past few years, the STOP Program has had considerable success in helping people quit smoking. “Nicotine patches can greatly improve the chances of quitting smoking, but some people may not be able to afford them,” Taylor notes. “With the STOP Program, patches are available free-of-charge and can really improve your chances of success.”

The holiday season is also an ideal time to consider becoming tobacco-free in 2015. “Overcoming your tobacco addiction is one of the best presents to give your loved ones,” she adds.
The physical benefits of being tobacco-free start almost immediately. Within 20 minutes of quitting, a person’s blood pressure returns to normal; within eight hours, blood carbon monoxide levels drop and oxygen levels increase; and after two days, a person’s sense of smell and taste improves.

There are other advantages to becoming tobacco-free as well. Says Taylor: “You have more energy and more money in your pocket not having to pay for cigarettes.”

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For media inquiries, contact:

Karen Taylor, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, ext. 2240, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577.

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