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News Release

National Non-Smoking Week inspires community to become tobacco free

Jan 12, 2016
SIMCOE MUSKOKA - Next week, January 17-23, is National Non-Smoking Week, promoted each year to motivate people to start making plans to quit for good.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA - Next week, January 17-23, is National Non-Smoking Week, promoted each year to motivate people to start making plans to quit for good. It’s also a time to celebrate our local residents who have quit smoking successfully.

That includes twin sisters Maureen and Eileen Walsh. They have now been tobacco free for almost two years and say for a very long time they didn’t think they would ever be able to quit smoking.

“We both tried many times,” said Maureen. “Sometimes it would last a day, sometimes for a few weeks, but we always found a reason to go back to it. Finally we decided we had had enough. We hated what it was doing to our health.”

“We’ve become an inspiration to friends and family who never believed we could do it,” added Eileen. “I know many of them are starting to think seriously about quitting now that they know we could do it.”

Overcoming the addiction to nicotine is not easy, but thousands of people succeed annually with practice and support. In the Simcoe Muskoka area only one in five adults still smokes and almost half have tried to quit at least once in the past year.

If you have been thinking about quitting, you have taken the first step to becoming tobacco free. If you are ready to take the next step, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is ready to help. Along with a full listing of resources, contests and self-help materials, the health unit hosts free, three-hour STOP smoking workshops in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The workshops include a free supply of nicotine replacement therapy and counselling to support a successful quit.

The next STOP smoking workshop takes place Thursday, Jan.  21 in Barrie. Workshops are also taking place in communities across Simcoe Muskoka in the coming weeks.  For a full listing or to register for a workshop call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or visit the website at simcoemuskokahealth.org. 

Five Tips to Help You Quit

  • Believe you can do it! Tell your friends and family why quitting is important to you and ask for their support.
  • Change your habits. If you link smoking with coffee, change to tea or cold drinks. Get up as soon as dinner is done and brush your teeth.
  • Get active. When co-workers head outside for a break, head the other way for a quick walk. At home, keep busy, walk the dog or go to the gym.
  • Start cutting back. Delay the first cigarette of the day, then stretch the time between cigarettes, and reduce the number you smoke each week as you get closer to your quit date.
  • Get support. Stop smoking medications and counselling are available to help. Talk to your health care provider, pharmacist, or call Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333. The health unit also has a list of local supports on our website simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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