TORONTO, July 28, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased to announce Run to Quit, an innovative program to help Canadians quit smoking and become more physically active. The initiative, in partnership with the Running Room and with the generous support of the Public Health Agency of Canada, will be launched nationally in January and will help smokers quit through community-based running clinics, quit smoking counselling and peer-to-peer support.
The Society is combining its expertise in smoking cessation programming with the Running Room's long history of working at the grassroots level in its communities to promote and teach Canadians how to exercise properly and develop healthy lifestyles. The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing nearly $5 million in funding for the project, forming a 3-way partnership that shows what can be accomplished when not-for-profits, corporations and government work together toward a common goal.
"Tobacco remains a leading cause of disease and death in Canada, and we need to continually explore new and innovative ways to help smokers quit," says Rowena Pinto, Vice-President, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Together with our partners, we will be helping Canadians replace a deadly addiction with a healthy one – physical activity."
Run to Quit includes 10 weeks of online support and in-person running clinics where participants will learn how to run 5 km while receiving practical quit smoking support through a custom designed cessation curriculum. Participants will have the opportunity to network with one another and provide peer-to-peer encouragement.
"Quitting smoking is not easy. Run to Quit takes an innovative approach to help Canadians quit while improving their overall health through physical activity," says Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo. "The Government of Canada is proud to partner with the Running Room and the Canadian Cancer Society to offer this program which will empower Canadians to permanently give up smoking and live healthier, more active lifestyles."
"Both smoking and physical inactivity increase a person's risk of developing cancer," adds Pinto. "By helping thousands of Canadians quit smoking and become more physically active, Run to Quit will save many lives and create a healthier society."
The Canadian Cancer Society helps Canadians quit smoking through programs like Smokers' Helpline and other cessation programs. The Society also promotes physical activity and healthy eating through various programs and by advocating for healthy public policies related to tobacco use and healthy living.
Smoking increases a person's risk for numerous cancers and accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths. Regular physical activity can help protect against colon cancer. About one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)
For further information: or to book an interview, contact: English, Jason Chapman, Senior Manager, Communications, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, 416-323-7132, [email protected], Follow us @CCS_media; French, André Beaulieu, Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations, Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division, 514-393-3444, [email protected]