The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Encouraging residents to improve their health by quitting smoking this National Non-Smoking Week

WHITBY, ON January 09, 2015

Durham Region Health Department is celebrating National Non-Smoking Week, January 18 to 24, by reminding residents that it’s never too late to quit.

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 each year in Canada, with 13,000 of those deaths occurring in Ontario; this means that 36 people in Ontario die each day from tobacco-related illnesses.

According to a 2013 Health Department survey, 15 per cent of Durham Region residents are currently smokers and 70 per cent of these people are considering or planning to quit within the next six months.

“Quitting smoking is challenging but we want people to know that they have options and we can help,” explained Shelley Simic, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “The new year is often a time when people focus on their health and now is a perfect time to consider improving your health by quitting smoking.

“There are many health benefits to quitting smoking,” Ms. Simic added. “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 protecting people from exposure to second-hand smoke, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841 -2729.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Alicia Cowan – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2952

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.