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- Quit-Smoking Program Offers No-Charge Nicotine Patches to Help Smokers Become Tobacco-Free -

With the trees set to change colours as fall arrives, local smokers are also being encouraged to turn over a new leaf when it comes to quitting tobacco.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to bring the Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (S.T.O.P.) Program to Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes this fall. S.T.O.P. is a unique quit-smoking program that provides resources and five weeks of nicotine patches free-of-charge to smokers, with the goal of helping more people quit for good.

The S.T.O.P. Program is being offered in the Health Unit region. People can take part in any of these one-day sessions as follows:

• In Northumberland County on September 14, October 1 and November 26.

• In the City of Kawartha Lakes on September 14, November 19 and December 8.

• In Haliburton County on September 21 and October 26.

To find out more about S.T.O.P and to see if they qualify for the program, local residents are encouraged to call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.

“We are very excited to be working with the Centre for Addition and Mental Health to bring the S.T.O.P. Program back to our area, especially when it can directly benefit smokers who are trying to quit,” says Karen Taylor, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

Research shows that the use of patches and other nicotine replacement therapy can more than double the chances of people becoming smoke-free, adds Jennifer Valcamp, a Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Nicotine patches are very effective, but can be expensive for some people,” she adds. “The fact that patches are free through the S.T.O.P. Program is just another reason to call to see if you qualify for them.”

Since its inception in 2005, the S.T.O.P. Program has provided free smoking cessation medication and counseling support to thousands of Ontarians who wanted to quit smoking.

For media inquiries, contact:

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

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«January 2019»