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Want to Quit Smoking? Start Your Journey on World No Tobacco Day

May 29, 2015

Toronto, ON (May 31, 2015)  Every journey begins with a decisive first step.  The Ontario Lung Association challenges Ontario smokers to start their journey on May 31, World No Tobacco Day, and quit smoking for the day.

“It won’t kill you to try,” urges Andrea Stevens Lavigne, vice president, provincial programs, Ontario Lung Association.  “There’s no doubt, quitting can be a challenge.  Try it for a day – and maybe that day can turn into two, or three, or even longer.”

Within eight hours of the last cigarette, the body’s carbon monoxide levels drop and oxygen levels returns to normal.  Within 48 hours, the risk of heart attack falls and the senses of smell and taste start to recover.

To help tobacco users take their first step to becoming smoke-free, the Ontario Lung Association provides the helpful cessation workbook Journey 2 Quit.  This interactive workbook helps smokers prepare for their quit attempt by showing them how to make a plan for coping with triggers and withdrawal symptoms, as well as how to set and stick to a quit date.  The book, available in English and French, is free and can be ordered by calling the Ontario Lung Association Lung Health Information Line 1-888-364-LUNG (5864).

Smoking in Ontario

More than two million Ontarians smoke and more than half want to quit.  Tobacco use is responsible for 13,000 preventable deaths each year. It’s the number one cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is a major contributor to many forms of cancer, including lung cancer.  Almost 870,000 Ontarians are living with COPD, and 33,000 have lung cancer.  The combined cost of these diseases to the provincial economy is estimated at more than $4 billion.[1]

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.

Journey 2 Quit: A Workbook to Help You Quit Smoking is available for free and can be ordered through the Ontario Lung Association’s Lung Health Information Line 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).  The toll-free telephone line is staffed by certified respiratory educators who can also offer extra support and advice to help anyone who is making a quit attempt. The Journey 2 Quit workbook can also be downloaded at www.on.lung.ca/journey

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Tips to help kick those butts for good:

  1. Write down all the reasons you want to quit (e.g., health, financial benefits).
  1. List the things you like about smoking.
  1. List the things you don’t like about smoking.
  1. Learn from previous attempts to quit – what worked, what didn’t and why did you start smoking again?
  1. Track your smoking routine for a few days – when, where and why you smoked, how strong was the craving. Write down the “triggers” that start you smoking, then list coping strategies that can help you avoid or delay lighting up.
  1. Ask your health-care provider about products that can help you quit, such as nicotine replacement therapy (e.g., nicotine patch) or prescription medications.
  2. Call The Lung AssociationLung Health Information Line: 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or email info@on.lung.cafor information and support. You can also order free resources like the popular Journey 2 Quit workbook.
  1. When setting a quit date, choose a time when things are not too stressful. Don’t wait until you have no stress, since this will probably never happen.
  1. Tell your friends and family you are quitting and ask for their support. Ask them not to smoke around you.
  1. Just before you quit, throw out all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. Gather helpful items that can distract you from your cravings, such as a water bottle and sugar-free gum.
  1. On your quit date, keep your hands, mouth and mind busy – use a stress ball, do a puzzle, chew gum or a straw, eat healthy snacks. Physical exercise is a great way to reduce your cravings and reinforce your commitment to the new healthy lifestyle.
  1. If you are not successful this time, try again when you are ready. Quitting will be difficult now and it will be difficult a year from now – so why not try now!

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Contact:
John Chenery, Ontario Lung Association | 416-864-9911 ext. 292 | jchenery@on.lung.ca


[1] “Your Lungs, Your Life:  Insights and Solutions to Lung Health in Ontario”  Produced by the Ontario Lung Association, based on data from:  Smetanin, P., Stiff, D., Briante, C, Ahmad, S., Ler, Al, Wong, L.  Life and Economic Burden of Lung Disease in Ontario:  2011 to 2041.  RiskAnalytica, on behalf of the Ontario Lung Association, 2011.