Trying to quit smoking? Recent study reveals friends and family are key

Canadian Cancer Society's Driven to Quit Challenge returns with an innovative approach to engage friends and family 

TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - In a recent survey1 commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society and conducted by Environics, 73% of ex-smokers in Ontario say that support from family and friends was key to their success at quitting, while 60% of current smokers indicate that support from various sources would motivate them to quit.

The survey also revealed that 31% of current smokers have tried to quit more than 5 times, as compared to 18% of ex-smokers, which suggests that over the years, smokers are finding it increasingly difficult to quit and therefore need support now more than ever to help them break their addiction.

Recognizing the importance of support, the Canadian Cancer Society encourages Ontario tobacco users to join the Driven to Quit Challenge, presented by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., the makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE®. The Challenge is a campaign that is intended to motivate adult Ontario tobacco users to quit smoking or other forms of tobacco for the month of March with the help of a support "buddy" for their chance to win a grand prize of a car and other cash prizes. Registered support buddies are also eligible to win a prize. Since 2006, The Challenge has inspired more than 202,500 quit attempts, with over 37,000 during the 2012 Challenge alone.

"We are thrilled to launch Driven to Quit this year with a focus on engaging not only the smoker, but family and friends as well," says John Atkinson, Director, Tobacco Control and Cancer Prevention, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Firstly, 64% of current smokers say that they are more likely to quit if family or friends who smoke also quit, it's time for everyone to take the leap and quit together!"

"Second, family and friends who are non-smokers can also be part of The Challenge by encouraging smokers to register and by signing up to be their support buddy. They can also pledge their support with a financial donation to the Canadian Cancer Society," says Atkinson. "With support resources such as the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline and our new approach to engage family and friends, Driven to Quit aims to motivate and inspire smokers in Ontario to quit for good."

New features this year include the ability for quitters to develop a profile page on www.DrivenToQuit.ca where they can access e-mail templates and social media sharing tools to make a public declaration of their quit intention with family and friends, and ask for their support through pledge donations.

In addition, other researchhas demonstrated that quitters who use nicotine replacement therapy like patches, gums, inhalers, lozenges or sprays are twice as likely to succeed as those who do not. Therefore, everyone who registers for the Driven to Quit Challenge is eligible to receive discount coupons towards NICODERM® or NICORETTE® quit aids that can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription.

"McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE® Nicotine Replacement products has been a proud sponsor of the Canadian Cancer Society's Driven to Quit Challenge since 1996 and we are pleased to confirm that we are supporting the Challenge again in 2014," noted Krista Scaldwell, Vice-President, Communications and Government Affairs. "Our commitment is to provide smokers with clinically proven, safe and effective nicotine replacement products in a broad choice of formats to support each individual's personal journey to becoming tobacco and nicotine free. Congratulations to everyone who is participating in this Challenge and taking an important step in improving their health and wellness."

Registration for The Driven to Quit Challenge is open until February 28, 2014. To register and for more details about The Driven to Quit Challenge, go to www.DrivenToQuit.ca or call the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline at 1-877-513-5333.

About the Driven to Quit Challenge
The Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division's Driven to Quit Challenge, presented by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE®, is a health promotion campaign that is intended to motivate adult Ontario tobacco users to quit smoking or other forms of tobacco for one month with the help of a support "buddy" for their chance to win a grand prize of a car. Participants are encouraged to access Smokers' Helpline and Smokers' Helpline Online for cessation support. To claim a prize, selected winners must demonstrate that they have remained tobacco-free for the month of March 2014.

About Canadian Cancer Society Smokers' Helpline
Smokers' Helpline is a free, confidential service that provides personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. Operated by the Canadian Cancer Society and funded by the Government of Ontario, Smokers' Helpline has three ways to help Ontarians quit: phone support, online program and text messaging at 1-877-513-5333 and SmokersHelpline.ca.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter products. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is most widely recognized for the TYLENOL® brand. Other McNeil Consumer Healthcare brands include NICODERM® and NICORETTE® Nicotine Replacement Therapies,  BENADRYL® and REACTINE® allergy medicines; IMODIUM® anti-diarrheal; PEPCID® and ZANTAC® for digestive health, and  MOTRIN® Ibuprofen.

1 From November 15, 2013 to November 21, 2013, an online survey was conducted by Environics Research among 810 smokers in Ontario. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±3.4 per cent per cent, 19 times out of 20.

2 Burkett, J.S. (2006). The use of the nicotine inhaler in smoking cessation. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 18(3), 83-91. Schneider, N.G., Olmstead, R., Nilsson, F., Mody, F.V., Franzon, M., & Doan, K. (1996). Efficacy of a nicotine inhaler in smoking cessation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Addiction, 91(9), 1293-1306.

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

For further information:

Media Contacts 

Linda Domenichini, Senior Coordinator, Communications,
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
416-323-7023
ldomenichini@ontario.cancer.ca

Daniel Paquette, PR counsel
dpPR
416 413-7714
dp@dppr.ca