Vast majority of Ontario smokers try to quit alone, and fail


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STORY SUMMARY: Smokers' Helpline, a central component of the province's Smoke-Free Ontario cessation services, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a simple message to the province's 2 million smokers: overcoming the addiction to tobacco can seem impossible, but effective and non-judgemental support is only a call or website away.

To mark National Non-Smoking Week (January 18 – 22) and Weedless Wednesday (January 20), the Canadian Cancer Society is urging smokers to reach out to a Quit Coach at its Smokers' Helpline to work together to create a personalized quit plan and to navigate the free quitting resources provided by the Ontario government.


Hon. Dipika Damerla
Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Question 1: Why is the Ontario government paying to help people quit smoking?

IN:  00:00:01
I does mean that we spend less on…..don't think we can put a price on that quality of life.
OUT: 00:00:13
Length: 12 seconds

Question 2: Have we made much progress in helping Ontarians quit smoking?

IN:  00:00:16
We have the second lowest smoking… to become the lowest smoking jurisdiction.
OUT: 00:00:29
Length: 13 seconds

Question 3: What was your impression of listening in to a Quit Coach call with a smoker at Smokers' Helpline?

IN:  00:00:32
The sense that I came away with… it was a fantastic experience.
OUT: 00:00:55
Length: 23 seconds

Question 4: Do you have anything to say to Smokers' Helpline on the occasion of their 15th anniversary?

IN:  00:00:57
What a wonderful program they've been delivering…so thank you very much and congratulations again.
OUT: 00:01:09
Length: 12 seconds

Elana Trainoff
Former Smoker

Question 1: What has been your experience with Smokers' Helpline?

IN:  00:00:01
As someone who smoked for 25 years…the success I've had so far, without it.

OUT: 00:00:19
Length: 18 seconds

Question 2: What were your concerns about reaching out for help?

IN:  00:00:21
I was trying to quit on my own…completely accessible.

OUT: 00:00:42
Length: 19 seconds

Question 3: What is your advice to people trying to quit smoking?

IN:  00:00:44
My advice to anybody trying to quit smoking…and I know it can be for anyone else as well.

OUT: 00:01:01
Length: 17 seconds

Question 4: What has been the best part about being a non-smoker?

IN:  00:01:04
Knowing that I've been able to…incredibly liberating experience for me.

OUT: 00:01:14
Length: 10 seconds

John Atkinson
Director, Cancer Prevention and Tobacco Control
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

Question 1: Why do people respond positively to Smokers' Helpline support?

IN:  00:00:01
So at smokers' helpline, we really meet people…accomplish what they need to do.

OUT: 00:00:12
Length: 11 seconds

Question 2: What do you want to tell Ontarians who are still smoking on the occasion of Smokers' Helpline's 15th anniversary?

IN:  00:00:14
You know there's still almost two million…many ways to help people quit smoking.

OUT: 00:00:24
Length: 10 seconds

Question 3: Smokers' Helpline keeps on innovating with new ways to engage Ontario smokers: what is the First Week Challenge Contest?

IN:  00:00:27
So, we have a new challenge…that's why we put this challenge out there.

OUT: 00:00:45
Length: 18 seconds

Question 4: How does Smokers' Helpline work with other players in Ontario's smoking cessation system?

IN:  00:00:49
By working with the Ontario government…to get them to be smoke free.

OUT: 00:01:02
Length: 13 seconds


Elizabeth Harvey
Senior Manager, Smokers' Helpline
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

T: 416-323-7170
C: 416-225-1888

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SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

Image with caption: "Minister Damerla visits Smokers' Helpline. Smokers' Helpline Quit Coaches provide free support that can increase a smokers chances of quitting by 700% (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division))". Image available at:

Audio with caption: "Hon. Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, explains why the Ontario government invests in programs that help people quit smoking.". Audio available at:

Audio with caption: "Elana Trainoff, who had a heart attack last year at 40 after 25 years of smoking, describes the challenges of quitting and how she turned to Smokers’ Helpline to end her addiction to tobacco.". Audio available at:

Audio with caption: "John Atkinson, Director of Tobacco Control and Cancer Prevention at the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, and a former 2-pack-a-day smoker, discusses challenges of quitting and the expert support they can count on at Smokers’ Helpline.". Audio available at:

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