Durham Region Health Department will celebrate National Non-Smoking Week, Jan. 20 to 26, by reminding residents that it’s never too late to quit smoking. National Non-Smoking Week has been celebrated across Canada for more than 30 years and is held annually to raise awareness about the harmful effect of tobacco use.
“The new year is often a time when people focus on their health and National Non-Smoking Week is a perfect time for residents to consider improving their health by quitting smoking,” said David Amot, health department public health nurse. “We encourage smokers to talk to their healthcare provider about strategies that can help them quit smoking.”
Research indicates that tobacco is responsible for more than 37,000 deaths every year in Canada, with 13,000 of those deaths occurring in Ontario. Moreover, based on a 2016 health department survey, 12 per cent, or about 63,600 Durham Region residents, are currently smokers.
To help support those who want to quit smoking, the health department will be offering a Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) on the Road Workshop. The workshop will take place on Jan. 29 in Whitby and free nicotine replacement therapy will be provided for those who are eligible. Residents interested in participating should call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, to see if they qualify to register for the workshop.
The health department is also reminding Durham residents about the new regulations to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) that came into effect in the fall 2018. SFOA prohibits smoking or vaping of tobacco, cannabis or other substances in all enclosed public spaces, workplaces and prohibited spaces such as children’s playgrounds, child care centres and other designated areas.
For more information on quitting smoking, tobacco-use prevention and protection from exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour, or to learn more about SFOA regulations visit durham.ca/tobacco.