The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Residents are reminded it's never too late to quit during National Non-Smoking Week

WHITBY, ON January 12, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department is celebrating National Non-Smoking Week, Jan. 17 to 23, 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 effects of tobacco use. Tobacco is responsible for more than 37,000 deaths every year in Canada, with 13,000 of those deaths occurring in Ontario. This equals 36 deaths a day.

According to a 2013 Health Department survey, 15 percent of Durham residents are current smokers and 70 percent of these people have indicated that they are considering quitting or planning to quit within the next six months.

This survey also indicated that 22 per cent of young adults aged 18 to 24-years old smoke. “Smoking rates among young adults are of particular concern, as this rate is considerably higher than the average in Durham,” explained Shelley Simic, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Quitting smoking is challenging but we want people to know that they have options and we can help.”

Ms. Simic added that, “there are many health benefits to quitting smoking. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure decreases and your pulse returns to normal. After four days, your lung capacity increases and after one year your risk of a heart attack is cut in half.”

"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," said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. "We encourage smokers to talk to their healthcare provider about strategies that can help them quit smoking."

“The New Year is often a time when people focus on their health. National Non-Smoking Week is a perfect time to consider improving one’s health by quitting smoking,” added Ms. Simic.

For more information on quitting smoking, tobacco-use prevention and protection 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

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For more information, please contact Health Department.