The Ontario Lung Association is Helping Quit Happen

    On World No Tobacco Day smokers are encouraged to butt out for good

    TORONTO, May 28 /CNW/ - Approximately twenty per cent of people in
Ontario smoke;(1) however, a recent report revealed there has been a
significant increase in people's intention to quit in the next 30 days from 24
per cent in 2003 to 31 per cent in 2007.(2) The reality is that without a plan
and the proper support, it can often be challenging to break the addiction. On
World No Tobacco Day (Sunday, May 31), the Ontario Lung Association (OLA) is
launching "Making Quit Happen", an updated resource that is free of charge for
those wanting to quit smoking for good made available through its Helpline at
1-888-344-LUNG (5864).
    "Overcoming a nicotine addiction may be one of the most challenging
experiences an individual will encounter in their lives, but beating the
addiction can be one of the most rewarding," says Dr. Alan Kaplan, Chairperson
of the Family Physician Airways Group of Canada and Ontario Lung Association
spokesperson. "In order to have the greatest chance of success with quitting,
individuals must ensure that a proper quit plan is put into place which can
best be done in consultation with a physician."
    To help smokers quit successfully, the Ontario Lung Association will have
their "Making Quit Happen" resource also available for download at Making Quit Happen: A Guide to Help You Quit Smoking is an
easy-to-use quit smoking guide that provides information on how to prepare to
quit smoking, what to expect when quitting smoking and how to remain a
non-smoker. The Ontario Lung Association is also inviting people to visit its
website at to share their personal success stories and advice
as a way to inspire others. Visitors to the site can win a "Smoke-Free You"
prize package for sharing their stories and helpful tips.
    "After 30 years as a chronic smoker, I realized that I needed to quit,"
says Gerald (Gerry) Rochman, former smoker. "I tried quitting cold turkey
numerous times, but wasn't very successful because I couldn't stop thinking
about smoking. I would use cigarettes to help me cope during stressful
situations. Now I've learned to deal with these types of situations without
the crutch of smoking."
    Gerry's journey to quit smoking is not unlike many other Canadians. In
fact, last year, in its report entitled Making Quit Happen: Canada's
Challenges to Smoking Cessation, The Lung Association determined that 79 per
cent of smokers have tried to quit, most of them several times; the average
number of quit attempts is six.(3) In Ontario, there has been no improvement
in the proportion of people who have successfully quit since 2003.(1)
    Fortunately for Gerry, he eventually found the resources to finally help
him quit by consulting with his doctor, setting a quit date and developing his
own unique quit plan. He is proud to declare that May 1, 2009 marked his two
year anniversary being smoke-free, and he strongly believes that
self-motivation and positive reinforcement were the keys to his success.
    "Ontario needs to implement a comprehensive provincial cessation strategy
to help smokers quit and stay smoke-free," says Joanne Di Nardo, Manager,
Tobacco Control and Public Affairs, Ontario Lung Association. "Recent evidence
states that current cessation programs reach only four per cent of smokers. By
implementing what Ontario cessation experts have recommended, we can move
closer to a truly smoke-free Ontario."
    People interested in quitting can also call the Ontario Lung
Association's Helpline at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) and speak to a certified
respiratory educator who can assist and support quit strategies.

    Smoking in Canada

    Smoking is linked to virtually all the major causes of death and disease
in Canada. Approximately 37,000 Canadians are expected to die this year from
tobacco-related causes,(4) including more than 1,000 from second-hand smoke.
    In healthcare, tobacco use costs the Canadian healthcare system billions
of dollars each year. Despite the reduced rate of smoking, healthcare costs
related to smoking have increased steadily since 1966.(5) In 2002, tobacco use
accounted for $4.4 billion in direct healthcare costs and an additional $12.5
billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity, longer-term disability
and premature death.(6)

    About World No Tobacco Day

    World No Tobacco Day was created in 1987 by the World Health Organization
to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and
disease it causes. It is celebrated around the world every year on May 31.(7)

    About The Ontario Lung Association

    The Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest voluntary, not-for-profit
health promotion organizations. The Lung Association is concerned with the
prevention and control of asthma, chronic lung disease caused by smoking and
with air quality and its effect on lung health. The Ontario Lung Association
was incorporated in 1945, and has community officers across the province.
Visit the Ontario Lung Association online at, or call
1-888-344-LUNG (5864).

    (1) Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin. The Smoke-Free Ontario Act's
        First Anniversary.
        Accessed May 25, 2009.
    (2) Ontario Research Unit. Towards a Smoke-Free Ontario: Progress and
        Implications for Future Developments (Special Reports: Monitoring and
        Evaluation Series (Volume 13, No. 3). Toronto, ON: Ontario Tobacco
        Research Unit, February 2009.
    (3) The Lung Association. Making Quit Happen: Canada's Challenges to
        Smoking Cessation.
        Accessed April 2009.
    (4) Public Health Agency of Canada. Minimizing the Risks of
        Cardiovascular Disease.
        Accessed April 2009.
    (5) Kaiserman MJ, The Cost of Smoking in Canada, 1991. Chronic Diseases
        in Canada. 1997; 18:1.
    (6) Life and Breath: Respiratory Disease in Canada, Public Health Agency
        of Canada 2007 page 14.
    (7) World Health Organization. Previous World No Tobacco Days.
        Accessed April 2009.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: or an interview, please contact: Karen Petcoff,
Ontario Lung Association, (416) 864-9911 x283,; Jacqueline
Zonneville, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1398,

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