Research Shows Promising Results For Smokers To "Go Weedless"



    Interim Results Show Success Of NRT Combined With Counselling

    TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - Smokers may have up to four times the typical
quit rates if they have effective access to counselling and nicotine
replacement therapies (NRT), a new interim report indicates.
    The STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Study through the
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is designed to find out the most
effective methods of supporting Ontario smokers who want to quit.
    In its first two years, the study has reached more than 38,000 smokers -
more than 20 per cent of the 175,000 Ontario smokers eligible to participate.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is conducting the study with
funding from the Ontario government.
    Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best announced today that Ontario
will provide an additional $2 million to add 15,000 more smokers to the study.
    "The STOP Study's early results show that people can break the habit when
they have the proper support," said Best. "We are determined to help smokers
quit and the STOP Study is just one of the many initiatives we have supported
to help Ontarians quit smoking - and live healthier, longer and better lives."
    For information on how to participate in the STOP Study, visit
www.ontario.ca/smokefree or call 1-800-350-5305.
    "This is the first time such a study has been implemented in Canada on
such a large scale," said Dr. Peter Selby, CAMH's Clinical Director of
Addiction Programs and Principal Investigator of the STOP Study. "The STOP
Study is most likely unique in the world due to the innovative methods of
distributing free NRT linked to supportive counseling that are being
investigated. It is clear there's both a demand and a need for nicotine
replacement therapy, and with the Ontario government's help, we're committed
to finding the most effective ways to help smokers quit."

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mhp.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/smokefree
                           www.smokershelpline.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             SMOKING TREATMENT FOR ONTARIO PATIENTS (STOP) STUDY
    

    Funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion, the Smoking Treatment for
Ontario Patients (STOP) Study is exploring the most effective methods to help
Ontarians quit smoking.
    For information on how to participate, visit www.ontario.ca/smokefree or
call 1-800-350-5305.
    Led by Dr. Peter Selby at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
(CAMH), the study has reached more than 38,000 smokers in its first two years.
That represents more than 20 per cent of the 175,000 Ontario smokers eligible
to participate.
    One out of every 13 participants in the study has remained smoke-free for
12 months - a result that indicates smokers who have access to effective
counselling and nicotine replacement therapies are up to four times more
likely to quit. Any smoking cessation intervention that can increase the quit
rate above one in 50 is considered clinically significant.

    
    The study has recruited participants a number of ways:
    -   Institutions such as CAMH, University of Ottawa Heart Institute and
        Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre have offered support to
        patients admitted for care;
    -   Twelve public health units supported members of their communities;
    -   Qualified smokers who called the 1-800 number received counselling
        and nicotine replacement therapies;
    -   More than 100 community pharmacists recruited participants and
        provided counselling and nicotine replacement therapies;
    -   CAMH staff have traveled to 27 communities across the province where
        people have difficulty accessing smoking cessation services; and
    -   Twenty-one community health centres and Aboriginal health access
        centres are helping harder to reach populations.

    Key Facts:

    -   Forty-three per cent of Ontario's smokers make a serious attempt to
        quit smoking at least once over the course of a year.
    -   Almost 1.7 million Ontarians 18 years and older currently smoke.
    -   Of these, approximately 62 per cent intend to quit smoking in the
        next six months and 32 per cent intend to quit in the next 30 days.
    -   Ontario smokers make an average of 3.5 quit attempts before they quit
        for good.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mhp.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/smokefree
                           www.smokershelpline.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Rick Byun, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-8497; Julie Rosenberg, Ministry of Health Promotion, Communications
Branch, (416) 326-4833; Michael Torres, Media Relations Coordinator, CAMH, at
(416) 595-6015

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF HEALTH PROMOTION

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