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DON’T QUIT QUITTING

- National Non-Smoking Week is the Perfect Time to Butt Out; Many Supports and Resources Available to Help -

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

It’s a simple message, but one that rings true for many people trying to quit smoking. While the first quit attempt may not always work out, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages smokers to keep trying because every new quit attempt can bring them closer to success. And with National Non-Smoking Week (January 17-23) on the horizon, the time for quitting is now.

“Going smoke-free is a great way to improve your own health and show your loved ones you care,” says Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “With many free resources and support programs to help you butt out, there has never been a better time than now to quit!”

To help smokers butt out, the Health Unit is highlighting these quit-smoking resources and contests:

• The First Week Challenge Contest encourages Ontario smokers and tobacco users to quit smoking for one week for a chance to win $500. Entrants must sign up by the last day of the month and stay tobacco-free for the first week of the next month. Every month through 2016, a new winner will be randomly chosen. The First Week Challenge Contest is organized by the Canadian Cancer Society.

• Cash prizes can be the motivation for young adults to quit smoking. People aged 18-29 years are encouraged to enter the Woulduratherquit-smoking contest by January 24, 2016. By becoming smoke-free, contest entrants can win cash prizes up to $2,500. Wouldurather is organized by Leave the Pack Behind.

• The S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program is coming to Minden and Port Hope on Saturday, February 6. The no-cost program provides quit-smoking resources and five weeks of free nicotine patches for participants. To see if they qualify for the program, smokers can call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.

•  Many health care professionals in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes can provide advice, support and resources to help smokers trying to quit. To find out what is available in their community, click here for a complete list of services.

Smokers’ Helpline is a free, confidential service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society that offers support and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use.

Better health can be a major motivator for people trying to go smoke-free, Robertson notes. Within 20 minutes of quitting, a smoker’s blood pressure drops and the pulse returns to normal; within 24 hours of quitting, the risk of heart attack starts to drop in ex-smokers. “The longer you go without a cigarette, the better it gets,” says Robertson, noting that after one year of quitting, the risk of smoking-related heart disease or stroke is cut in half.

For media inquiries, contact:

Jennifer Robertson, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, or 1-866-888-4577,

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

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