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News Release

Make 2013 the year you become tobacco free

Jan 21, 2013
­­­Take a hike, or a bath, or both to stay busy and keep your mind off tobacco when you are trying to quit.

­­­Take a hike, or a bath, or both to stay busy and keep your mind off tobacco when you are trying to quit. That’s just one of the tips that the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says can help you stay on track and become tobacco free in 2013.

“Once you have decided you are ready to quit, set a quit date,” says Leslie Gordon, tobacco program coordinator with the health unit. “Then you can start making a plan that will help you steer clear of situations that can cause real challenges or undermine your will to succeed.”

The plan should start with a discussion with your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare provider about the types of products and support services available to help you get through the tough times.

This help can come in the form of free telephone, text and online support from Smokers’ Helpline (1-877-513-5333). Nicotine replacement therapies like the patch, inhalers, lozenges and prescription medications can help curb your nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms in the early days of quitting.

It’s also worth checking with your employer to see if your benefit plan offers coverage for quitting supports.

“No one will argue about the fact that it’s tough to quit for good,” says Gordon, “but people are successfully quitting every single day and with practice and support you can too.”

Research into quitting shows that it often takes several attempts to quit for good. The secret to success is not giving up. If you slip, that’s OK. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to quit and then try again. It’s the single best thing you can do to protect your health and the health of those around you. 

With the cancellation of the provincial Driven To Quit Challenge this year, the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre has stepped up and is hosting a local iQuit challenge.

To participate, tobacco users 19 and older must set a quit date no later than March 1 and register for the iQuit challenge at www.rvh.on.ca. Stay tobacco free for the month of March and you are automatically entered into a draw for a chance to win one of two iPads. 

More information to help you plan your quit or support someone trying to quit is available on the health unit website at simcoemuskokahealth.org or by calling Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.          

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Sidebar: Tips to help you Quit Tobacco

  • Believe you can do it! Picture yourself tobacco free. Tell your friends and family why quitting is important to you and ask for their support. 
  • Set a quit date. Take steps to prepare for it gradually. Start by delaying the first cigarette of the day, then the amount you smoke each day.  
  • Connect for free support via telephone, text or online through Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 or www.smokershelpline.ca.     
  • Enter the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program iQuit challenge at www.rvh.on.ca, stay tobacco free during March and you could win one of two iPads.  
  • Change your habits. Don’t set yourself up for a craving. If you think of cigarettes with coffee, change to tea or other drinks. Get up and go for a walk after dinner. Chew sugarless gum instead of using tobacco.  
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about medications and supports that can help curb cravings.  
  • Get active. Go for a walk, play hockey in the driveway, go to the gym or take a bath, anything to stay busy. You’ll feel better each day you are tobacco free.  
  • Don’t quit trying. Quitting often takes a few attempts. That’s to be expected. The secret to quitting is don’t quit quitting until you succeed.  
  • Visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org for more information and resources to help you become tobacco free in 2013. It’s the best thing you can do to protect your health.

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