Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Calling on tobacco users: A successful quit attempt could be a phone call away

May 17, 2012

OTTAWA, May 17, 2012 /CNW/ – For smokers who are thinking about
quitting, there are resources available to help them kick their habit
for good. Telephone counselling is one option that can help.

In fact, studies show that smokers who receive phone counselling are
more than one and one-half times more likely to stay smoke-free than
those who don’t receive counselling.

In Canada, all provinces and territories offer free telephone
counselling to smokers through “quitlines.” Quitlines provide telephone
support from trained responders who can help users develop a personal
quit plan, answer any questions about quitting and help locate quit
smoking services in their community. They can also offer information
and resources to callers who wish to support someone in the quitting

Smokers now need to look no further than their cigarette package for
quitline information.

As of June 19, 2012, retailers may sell only cigarettes and little
cigars featuring new, larger health warning labels. Each new health
warning includes a toll-free quitline number and web address–a first
for tobacco health warnings in Canada.

Calling the quitline number (1-866-366-3667) connects callers to free
counselling services, while the web address (www.gosmokefree.gc.ca/quit) links users to online resources such as quit smoking information and,
in some cases, web-based counselling services.

The new health warnings, developed by Health Canada, include information
about diseases recently confirmed to be caused by smoking; facts about
the health benefits of quitting; and messages from individuals whose
lives have been negatively affected by tobacco use.

Leroy Kehler is one of them. He was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx
when he was 48. His vocal cords were removed, and he now breathes
through a hole in his throat. “I wish I had never started smoking,” his
message says.

In 2000, Canada was the first country to require graphic health warnings
on tobacco packages. Those warnings have played a role in reducing
smoking rates, which declined from 24 per cent of the population aged
15 and over in 2000 to an all-time low of 17 per cent in 2010.

The new health warnings aim to build on this success by increasing
awareness of the health hazards of tobacco use, and by putting quitline
information into the hands of millions of smokers.

SOURCE Health Canada

Source: PR Newswire