Canadians invited to "break up" with tobacco for National Non-Smoking
TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society has launched Break It Off - a new digital campaign funded by Health Canada to promote tobacco
cessation. Led by the Society's free cessation service - Smokers' Helpline - the campaign is aimed at young adults, age 19-29, who have the highest
smoking rate in the country.
"The Government of Canada is proud to support the Canadian Cancer
Society in encouraging and enabling young adults to quit smoking," said
the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "Overall smoking
rates have dropped significantly in recent years, but rates among young
adults aged 20 to 24 remain well above the Canadian average. This is
why Health Canada is supporting this important project, which will use
the strength of social media to help reduce tobacco use among this
The Break It Off campaign uses a "breakup" metaphor, comparing quitting smoking with
ending a romantic relationship, in order to provide support and
encourage young Canadians to "break up" with their smoking addiction.
The campaign's website, BreakItOff.ca, guides the user through the challenging stages of ending an unhealthy
tobacco relationship: getting it over with, staying split up and moving
on with life.
The website is also a resource hub for users to learn about proven quit
methods, such as phone counselling, patches, gums, and inhalers. It
includes a quick link for smokers to connect with a Smokers' Helpline Quit Coach, and is accompanied by fun, interactive social media
features. Users can download a free mobile app for instant support when
they are "stressed, angry, tipsy or bored." They can see how many
cigarettes have been "dumped" by their peers who have used Break It Off. Users can also upload a video of themselves "breaking up" with
cigarettes ("a public break up can greatly increase your chances of
dumping smoking for good.") Videos will be collected on YouTube with
the goal of creating "the world's biggest break up" with smoking.
"We know that smoking can be an incredibly difficult addiction to quit,
but it is easier with support," adds Donna Czukar, Senior Director of
Support Programs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Break It Off provides a link to support from those closest to you through Facebook
and YouTube, and immediate access to professional support from the quit
coaches at Smokers' Helpline."
The site also has compelling information about the health effects of
smoking, such as a list of highly toxic chemicals contained in
cigarettes ("You're dating more than just nicotine - the shameful
secrets it didn't want you to know").
National Non-Smoking Week, which has been hosted by the Canadian Council
for Tobacco Control (CCTC) for more than three decades, has announced
that its theme for 2012 is "Breaking up is hard to do." The CCTC
compares tobacco addiction to a dependent relationship and is
encouraging Canadians to "kiss tobacco goodbye" this week, coinciding
with the launch of the Break It Off campaign.
Canadians can join the Break It Off community at www.BreakItOff.ca.
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 available in six provinces and one
territory, Smokers' Helpline can be accessed 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 www.cancer.ca or call the bilingual Cancer Information Service, toll-free, at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)
For further information:
Coordinator, Communications, Smokers' Helpline
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
(905) 387-4322 ext. 5626