Community Program Designed to Meet Specific Needs of Smokers In Hamilton
HAMILTON, ON, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - In honour of National Non-Smoking Week,
The Hamilton Academy of Medicine is proud to introduce, It's Hamilton's Time to Quit, a campaign designed to increase awareness about local quitting
resources and tools to help the community understand the support that
is available, and encourage people to seek the assistance they need to
A Community in Need
Hamilton is a community requiring a specific approach to smoking
cessation. Why? Hamilton does not fit the mold - the population is
diverse, and represents significant extremes in terms of health:
A 21 year difference in life expectancy separates some of our
Hamilton's overall rate of low birth weight babies is more than 30 per
cent higher than the Canadian Average.
Between neighbourhoods, there is as much as 22 years between the average
age of a person suffering a cardiovascular emergency, such as a heart
attack or stroke.
In Hamilton, the smoking population is approximately 21 per cent -
higher than the Ontario average of 19 per cent.
"Hamilton is unique, and requires a unique approach to improving health,
including quitting smoking," explained Dr. Richard Tytus, Family
Physician and Past-President, The Hamilton Academy of Medicine. "The
Hamilton Academy of Medicine is leading the charge for It's Hamilton's Time to Quit - a program that represents an unprecedented collaborative effort of
leading community organizations from healthcare and services, to
police, pharmacy, and more.*"
The medical community considers smoking to be an addiction and a chronic
disease with a pediatric onset. It is not a lifestyle choice or
habit. It is this fact that has inspired the community to rally to
support It's Hamilton's Time to Quit and raise awareness of the resources available to support quitters.
"In my practice, I see patients who struggle with tobacco addiction
every day, and have witnessed the often overwhelming challenges faced
by people who are trying to quit smoking," continued Dr. Tytus. "As a
community, we must be united in our efforts to support these people in
their need and desire to quit. It is inspirational to see so many
organizations and individuals unified in this cause."
*The following organizations are working in collaboration to support
It's Hamilton's Time to Quit: The Hamilton Academy of Medicine,
Smoker's Helpline, Emergency Medical Services, Hamilton Police Service,
Hamilton and District Pharmacists Association, Hamilton Niagara
Haldimand Brant LHIN, Ontario Lung Association, Hamilton Family Health
Team, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton Public Health Services, Dell
Pharmacy and St. Joseph Hospital.
The Majority of People who Smoke Want to Quit
It's Hamilton's Time to Quit encourages dialogue between health care providers and their patients -
both are encouraged to initiate and engage in the discussion to ensure
support and resources are in place to aid successful quitting.
To help gather the community, It's Hamilton's Time to Quit is hosting an education and support meeting to provide information to
smokers... and their family and friends who will support them in their
Two forums will take place in February to provide vital information
about smoking addiction and the quitting process, and point all
quitters and their support system to the available resources in
Hamilton. For date and location details about the forums, visit www.hamiltondoctors.ca in the coming weeks.
Everyone attending the forums will have the opportunity to sign up on
site for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, Driven to Quit Challenge. With hundreds of thousands currently trying to break free from their
tobacco addiction in Ontario, the Driven to Quit Challenge encourages tobacco users to make a quit attempt for the month of March
for their chance to win exciting prizes. Those who stay smoke-free for
the month of March are entered to win their choice of a new Honda
hybrid, one of two $5,000 CAA vacation getaways and one of seven $2,000
MasterCard gift cards. Each entrant registers with a support buddy, who
can qualify to win a buddy prize of a $200 MasterCard gift card.
It's Hamilton's Time to Quit!
It's Hamilton's Time to Quit is the third initiative in the It's Hamilton's Time to Get Healthy campaign. The first two initiatives, launched in 2010, included Halt the Salt and It's Time to Get Moving.
The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the resources that are
available in our community, and, ultimately, encourage people to seek
the assistance they need to stop smoking.
"The goal is that all health professionals in the city of Hamilton are
able to provide effective treatments for all patients who are addicted
to tobacco," explained Dr. Tytus. "Immediately, we aim to motivate and
support discussion between health professionals and their patients in
our community. In the future, it is The Hamilton Academy of Medicine's
hope that the government will soon join the effort by covering smoking
cessation medications under provincial drug plans."
The Hamilton Academy of Medicine
The Hamilton Academy of Medicine is a local voluntary professional
association funded by physicians for physicians. The Academy binds the
medical community of the Greater Hamilton Area, promoting a spirit of
cooperation and unity, while meeting the educational, social and
political needs of its members. The Academy acts at the territorial
branch society of District 4 of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) providing a full range of programs, services and benefits to assist
member physicians. We have more than 700 members.
NOTES FOR EDITORS: Smoking Statistics
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in
There are approximately 13,000 tobacco-related deaths each year in
Ontario, that's 36 deaths per day. Tobacco use is responsible for 80-90 per cent of all cases of Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of lung cancer,
contributing to 85 per cent of all new cases in Canada.
Researchers say that more than 90 per cent of lung cancers in men and at
least 70 per cent in women are directly caused by smoking cigarettes.
Additionally, people who regularly breathe second-hand smoke have
almost double the risk of getting lung cancer than those who avoid
Other respiratory symptoms associated with smoking include coughing,
phlegm, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, and can lead to COPD.
Smoking increases a person's risk of developing heart disease and stroke
by contributing to the build up of plaque in arteries, increased risk
of blood clots, blood pressure, and reduced oxygen in the blood.
Regular exposure to second-hand smoke can increase a person's risk of
contracting lung disease by 25 per cent and heart disease by 10 per
cent, and is linked to the deaths of at least 1,000 Canadians every
In children, the effect of second-hand smoke is associated with
bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, chronic respiratory symptoms, and middle
ear infections. It is also a major risk factor for SIDS - sudden infant
Health benefits of discontinuing tobacco use
Within 20 minutes
Your blood pressure drops, your pulse returns to normal and the
temperature of hands and feet stabilizes.
After 8 Hours
The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops.
After 24 Hours
Your chance of having a heart attack decreases.
After 48 Hours
Your ability to smell and taste improves.
After 72 Hours
Lung capacity increases. Breathing can become easier.
2 weeks to 3 months
Your circulation improves. Walking becomes easier. Lung functioning may
increase by up to 20 per cent.
1 to 9 months
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath may decrease.
Your cilia may even begin to re-grow and that can help clean the lungs
and reduce chance of infection.
Risk of heart disease is cut in half.
SOURCE The Hamilton Academy of Medicine
For further information:
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Tytus, please contact: