Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Media Release: Public Health is looking for smokers who want to quit

Public Health is looking for smokers who want to quit

HAMILTON, ON – November 4, 2015 – Hamilton Public Health Services will be hosting two STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) sessions. They will run on Friday, November 13, 2015 in the morning at and afternoon in downtown Hamilton. The STOP Program provides five weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a practical support for alleviation of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which has been shown to be effective to help people quit smoking. To see if you are eligible to participate and to register for a STOP session call the Tobacco Hotline at 905-540-5566 ext. 1. Space in these sessions is limited; please register early to avoid disappointment.

In addition to providing NRT, the STOP Program will offer educational material to encourage program participants to make broader changes that can improve their overall health. Often smoking does not occur in isolation, but rather accompanies other risk factors for disease, such as poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Hamilton Public Health Services supports the goals of the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy. We work with individuals, groups and agencies in the community to develop programs and initiatives that support schools, workplaces, health care settings and the community at large to promote tobacco-free living. Public Health Services is happy to be partnering with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Good Shepherd HOMES Program, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as part of its Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.

Background: The STOP Program

Introduced in 2005 through a partnership between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the STOP Program has provided nicotine replacement therapy including nicotine gum and patches, as well as bupropion and varenicline, free-of-charge, in combination with counselling support to an unprecedented 100,000 people from across Ontario.

Baseline questionnaires and follow-up surveys, spaced over six months post treatment will help the STOP Program researchers learn more about the long-term impact of providing nicotine replacement therapy and other smoking cessation aids free-of-charge to smokers across Ontario.

The Hamiltonian encourages all smokers to consider particpating in this initiative. Not only will quitting smoking save your health, it will save you money. Tell them The Hamiltonian sent you! ;-)

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