The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Health Department observes National Non-Smoking Week by reminding residents that it's never too late to quit

WHITBY, ON January 13, 2014 - Durham Region Health Department is celebrating National Non-Smoking Week, Jan. 19 to 25, 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 2012 Health Department survey, 18 per cent of Durham residents are current smokers and more than half of these people have indicated that they are considering quitting or planning to quit within the next six months.

"Quitting smoking is challenging," explained Shelley Simic, a public health nurse with the Health Department. "We want people to know that they have options to help them quit and we can help. 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."

Ms. Simic added that "there are many health benefits to quitting smoking," added Ms. Simic. "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."

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


Media Inquiries:
Glendene Collins - Health Department 905-668-7711, ext. 2999