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YOUR YEAR TO QUIT

- S.T.O.P. Smoking Support Program Coming to Area in Early 2016 to Help People Become Tobacco-Free -

A quit-smoking support program will be timely for local smokers who want to stick with their resolutions to kick some butt in the New Year.

The S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program will be offered in Lindsay, Minden and Port Hope in the first few weeks of 2016. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to bring S.T.O.P. to the area. The S.T.O.P. Program is a unique quit-smoking program that provides resources and five weeks of nicotine patches free-of-charge to smokers. The goal is to help more smokers quit for good.

The S.T.O.P. Program is being offered as follows:

• On Saturday, January 9, in Lindsay.

• On Saturday, February 6, in Minden.

• On Saturday, February 6, in Port Hope.

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

“When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, quitting smoking is one of the most popular ones to make, but one of the most difficult to keep,” notes Karen Taylor, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “The S.T.O.P. Program is timely because it can help smokers achieve their goal of becoming successful quitters!”

Since its inception 10 years ago, the S.T.O.P. Program has helped thousands of Ontario residents who wanted to quit smoking. Providing free patches and other nicotine replacement therapy is one of the key approaches taken by the program.

“Nicotine patches are very effective, but can be very expensive for some people,” Taylor says. “With the S.T.O.P. Program, patches are available free-of-charge and can really improve your chances of staying smoke-free. Even if it does not work out this time, every quit-smoking attempt brings you closer to success.”

The holiday season is also an ideal time to consider becoming tobacco-free in 2016. “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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