Resources to help residents quit smoking

Happy New Year! I hope over the past few weeks you have had the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

For many people, the beginning of the New Year marks a time for a fresh start, a time for resolutions to live healthier, including a commitment to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is hard work but you don’t have to do it alone. Halton Region offers programs and supports to help smokers quit. Two programs under way at the start of this New Year include:

Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) Program

To help in your attempt to quit, smokers in Halton have the opportunity to enroll in the Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) Program and receive free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of patches.

For many smokers, the cost of nicotine replacement products can be a barrier to quitting. The STOP Program provides five weeks of free NRT.  NRT helps to alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms and has been shown to be effective in helping people to quit smoking.

The STOP Program is conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as part of its Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.

If you are interested in participating in the STOP Program you may do so by attending a STOP workshop.  STOP workshops will be held in Milton and Oakville on Wednesday, January 9. To inquire about eligibility and to register for a workshop, please call the Halton Region Health Department by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.

STOP participants have shown an improvement of at least two times over the typical quit rates.

Stop Smoking Clinic

At the Stop Smoking Clinics, run throughout Halton, a health professional will help you assess your lifestyle, understand why you smoke, set a quit date, and choose a personalized method of quitting. The clinics also provide free NRT to eligible tobacco users. These services are offered free of charge. You can make an appointment by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.

Whether you are renewing a New Year’s resolution, or are thinking of making a first quit attempt, the STOP program and the Stop Smoking Clinic are great opportunities that provide some extra support to give up smoking.

If you want to quit smoking or learn more about these programs, information is available on our website.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”