Major Women's Health Program Adapts National Quit-Smoking Model

    University of Ottawa Heart Institute Model Helps Push Quit-Smoking Rate
    to 50%

    OTTAWA, June 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The University of Ottawa Heart Institute
(UOHI)'s highly effective quit-smoking system, which is quickly being adopted
as a national model, will be integrated for the first time into a major
women's health program.
    The model developed by the Heart Institute results in close to 50% of
participants remaining smoke-free at 12 months. UOHI's Ottawa Model is a
hospital-based program involving an exceptional combination of personal
consult and intervention, information, follow-up and feedback.
    The Shirley E. Greenberg Women's Health Centre, a comprehensive research,
diagnostic and treatment facility for women in Ottawa, is implementing the
Heart Institute's stop-smoking protocol as part of its program to promote good
health and the overall well-being of women.
    Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in North America. Tobacco use
is the leading cause of preventable death among women. Research shows that
women who smoke are at greater risk for other diseases such as cervical cancer
but they have a more difficult time quitting smoking. Women have distinctive
smoking patterns that include strong social interaction, and their smoking
behaviours differ from men. Research shows that women who smoke tend to have
more concerns about weight gain and some experience withdrawal related to
menstrual cycle phase.
    "This program provides the Heart Institute with a unique opportunity to
target 25,000 women who are referred to a centre dedicated to their specific
health needs," said Bonnie Quinlan, Advanced Practice Nurse in Smoking
Cessation and Tobacco Addiction Counselor, UOHI. "Our own patients who have
successfully quit have gone on to enjoy healthier longer lives. We know that
women respond especially well to individual counseling and support provided by
our model to successfully quit smoking."
    Dr. Elaine Jolly, Medical Director, Women's Health Centre, said: "The
Ottawa Model is an innovative approach that will have an enormous impact on
our ability to help our patients develop and enhance their personal and
physical well-being. The Heart Institute's Smoking Cessation program provides
our centre with an exceptional tool for women who smoke and want to take this
most significant step to improve their health. We are thrilled to be part of
this venture."
    The Heart Institute's Smoking Cessation model is receiving national
recognition as an efficient but highly personal approach to help patients quit
smoking. More than 35 hospitals across the country have implemented UOHI's
Ottawa Model. These include hospitals within River Valley Health in New
Brunswick, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in British Columbia and 12 regional
hospitals outside of Ottawa in Eastern Ontario. Health officials in Toronto
are currently in discussions with the Heart Institute to replicate the
    Each year about 1,500 in-patient smokers at UOHI are identified and more
than 98% participate in the Heart Institute's program. Among patients, 50% are
smoke-free after six months and 46% do not smoke after one year.

    About the Women's Health Centre

    Part of The Ottawa Hospital, the Shirley E. Greenberg Women's Health
Centre (SEGWHC) was established to advance women's health during reproductive,
menopausal and post menopausal years through special clinics in gynecological
cancer, menopause and benign gynecology. The centre, which opened January
2005, employs advanced technology and a multidisciplinary team of specialists
in women's medicine, registered more than 31,000 patient visits last year. To
learn more, see

    About UOHI

    The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost
cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and
preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch,
shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac
treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate
discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international
community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information,


    Women and Smoking

    - Women who smoke have double the risk of developing cervical cancer.
      Tobacco-related byproducts have been found in the cervix of women who
      smoke. Researchers believe these substances damage the DNA of cells.

    - Smoking has been implicated in problems related to reproduction from
      increased risk of infertility to premature birth. Research shows that
      cigarette smoking combined with the use of oral contraceptives also
      increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. A risk of clotting
      associated with hormone therapies is shown to increase in women who

    - Changes in mood and withdrawal from smoking vary with menstrual cycle
      phase in some women. Research has suggested that women who smoke may
      suffer greater withdrawal during the last two weeks of their cycles
      versus the first two weeks.

    - Research has suggested that women's smoking habits are more strongly
      reinforced by factors such as social interaction and personal
      stressors. Consequently, some evidence suggests that nicotine
      replacement is less effective for women than men.

    - Weight gain is a strong barrier for women wanting to quit smoking.
      Women are more at risk of weight gain. Some research has shown greater
      quit-smoking success for women enrolled in both a smoking cessation
      program and supervised weekly exercise programs. They increased
      cardiovascular health and gained less weight. The Ottawa Model offers
      individual counseling with strategies on how to manage weight.

    The Ottawa Model at the Women's Health Centre

    UOHI's Ottawa Model systematically identifies smokers and offers
assistance to quit. The Women's Health Centre will adapt the Ottawa Model to
achieve the following:

    - All physicians and nurses will be provided with one-on-one training in
      how to manage tobacco dependency.

    - All smokers admitted to the centre will be identified and treated with
      support from a designated nurse counselor and stop-smoking aids.
      Smoking status will be documented in the patient's record.

    - The attending physician or nurse will advise all smokers to quit using
      an unambiguous but non-judgmental approach. An order for nicotine
      replacement therapy would be provided if necessary.

    - A quit plan will be developed with smoking patients ready to quit.
      Nurse counselors would be trained to talk about nicotine dependence and
      smoking cessation.

    - Patients are contacted at home via a sophisticated integrated voice
      response technology that tracks their progress using a detailed series
      of questions. If any response suggests the patient is having trouble
      remaining smoke-free or if they've started smoking again, a nurse
      counselor will call to talk about options and help get the patient back
      on track.

For further information:

For further information: Marlene Orton, Senior Manager, Public Affairs
University of Ottawa Heart Institute, (613) 761-4427,;
Natalie Hanson, Media Relations Office, The Ottawa Hospital, (613) 737-8460,

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Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa

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