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The Regional Municipality of Durham printPrinter Friendly Version

News Release

Health Department reminds residents that it's never too late to quit smoking

WHITBY, ON May 25, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department is celebrating World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) on May 31 with a message to current smokers - don’t quit quitting!

“Quitting smoking can be hard, but there are many options available to help with your quit efforts,” said Shelley Simic, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “It’s never too late to quit. With the right support, you can be successful and every quit attempt gets you closer to becoming a non-smoker.”

Celebrated annually, WNTD was created by the World Health Organization in 1987 to recognize the harmful effects of tobacco. This event highlights the worldwide tobacco epidemic and emphasizes the important work still to be done in tobacco control.

Research shows that tobacco is responsible for more than 37,000 deaths every year in Canada. Ontario accounts for 13,000 of those deaths which is equivalent to 36 people a day. According to a 2015 Health Department survey, 14 per cent of Durham Region residents 18 and older, which represents 65,000 people, are current smokers. More than half of these people are considering quitting or planning on quitting within the next six months. 

“Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Ontario and quitting smoking is one of the best steps a person can take to improve their health," explained Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. “We encourage smokers to talk to their health care provider about strategies that can help with quitting smoking.”

There are many noted health benefits to quitting smoking. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, blood pressure decreases and pulse returns to normal. After four days, lung capacity increases and after one year the risk of a heart attack is cut in half. Counselling and the use of nicotine replacement therapy can help to double your chances of success; contact your health care provider, your family health team or a community health centre for additional information and support.

For more information on quitting smoking, tobacco use prevention and protecting people from exposure to second-hand smoke, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841 -2729, or visit

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please call 1-877-777-2729.

For more information, please contact Health Department.