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Ontario is Ready to Quit!

Nov 24, 2015

NOTE: An earlier version of this release, distributed November 16, contained inaccurate information. It stated that all Ontario hospitals would be required to have a smoke-free grounds policy by January 1, 2016. Under the Smoke Free Ontario Act, hospitals will be permitted to maintain designated/controlled smoking areas beyond that date but that provision will end on January 1, 2018 when smoking on hospital grounds will be banned completely.

Smoking cessation programs in hospitals provide positive outcomes for health and economy

Toronto, ON (November 16, 2015) – Ontario has made great strides with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, but tobacco-related diseases continue to account for 500,000 hospitalizations and more than $1.93 billion in direct health-care costs each year.[i],[ii] On January 1, 2018 all Ontario hospitals will adopt a smoke-free grounds policy, providing further motivation to introduce smoking cessation programs for patients, which could have significant health and economic benefits for the province.

“The need for a comprehensive smoking cessation system in Ontario is greater and more urgent than ever before,” says Dr. John Granton, Head of the Department of Respirology at University Health Network, Mount Sinai Hospital and Women’s College Hospital, and Chair of the Ontario Lung Association. “An important component of a provincial strategy for smoking cessation is adopting hospital-initiated programs. Providing support and access to nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches and inhalers, during hospitalization and upon discharge could significantly reduce smoking rates and healthcare costs.”

Hospital-initiated smoking cessation programs have been found to significantly increase long-term smoking cessation rates in cardiac patients by 15 per cent, and would represent less than 0.20 per cent of the cost of admissions for smoking-related illness.[iii]

“I was able to quit smoking after my surgery thanks to the support I received through the hospital’s stop-smoking program,” says Allen Ley, past smoker who went through a hospital smoking cessation program. “The program was invaluable to help me on my quit journey, both while I was in the hospital and after I was discharged.”

All smokers should have the support and assistance needed to help them quit for good. Introducing smoking cessation programs in hospitals is an important component to support a universally accessible system throughout the province.

Visit on.lung.ca/quit to learn more about how smoking cessation programs in hospitals can improve health and reduce costs to the health-care system.

For support to quit smoking call The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) and speak to a Certified Respiratory Educator, or order Journey 2 Quit: A Workbook to Help You Quit Smoking.

Fast Facts – Smoking in Ontario

  • Approximately 2 million Ontarians continue to smoke, causing 13,000 premature deaths every year;[iv],[v]
  • Approximately $547 million is spent annually in Ontario on hospitalizations for smoking-related illnesses;[vi]
  • In Ontario, tobacco-related health-care costs and productivity losses total $7.7 billion each year – or, approximately $600 per person, including non-smokers.[vii]

About the Ontario Lung Association

The Lung Association is a registered charity that assists, educates and empowers individuals living with or caring for others with lung disease. The Lung Association provides programs and services to patients and health-care providers, invests in lung research, and campaigns for improved policies on lung health. Information about lung health issues is available through the Lung Health Information Line 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or at info@on.lung.ca.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Claire Cockburn
NATIONAL Public Relations
416-848-1423
ccockburn@national.ca

[i] Ontario Lung Association. Smoking and Tobacco. Smoking & Health Facts. https://www.on.lung.ca/page.aspx?pid=460. Accessed October 29, 2015.

[ii] Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. Evidence Guide to Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario. 2010. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/eRepository/Evidence%20to%20Guide%20Action%20-%20CTC%20in%20Ontario%20SFO-SAC%202010E.PDF. Accessed October 29, 2015.

[iii] Mullen KA, Coyle D, Manuel D, et al. Economic evaluation of hospital-initiated intervention for smokers with chronic disease, in Ontario, Canada. Tob Control 2015;24: 489–496.

[iv] Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). Health indicator profile, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2013 boundaries) and peer groups.

[v] The Lung Association. Smoking and Tobacco. Smoking & Health Facts. https://www.on.lung.ca/page.aspx?pid=460. Accessed October 29, 2015.

[vi] Mullen KA, Coyle D, Manuel D, et al. Economic evaluation of hospital-initiated intervention for smokers with chronic disease, in Ontario, Canada. Tob Control 2015;24: 489–496.

[vii] Ontario Lung Association. Your Lungs Your Life. https://www.on.lung.ca/document.doc?id=1369. Accessed October 29, 2015.