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Quitting Smoking

For most smokers, quitting smoking is the single best thing they can do to improve the length and quality of their lives. Some health benefits happen right away while others occur the longer you stay smoke-free. Begin by creating a personal plan.

Quitting smoking can be a difficult process.

  • On average, it takes five to seven tries before quitting for good
  • Every attempt increases the chances of success

Quitting is very personal. Not all people quit the same way and each attempt is different from the last. Visit Quit Stories to get advice from local people sharing why and how they gave up the habit for good.

Start your quit with Stop on the Road

York Region Public Health hosts the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) on the Road program, which provides nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) at local community workshops for Ontarians who wish to quit smoking.

Public Health Nurses offer workshop participants five weeks of NRT patches at no cost and helpful information on quitting smoking. Pre-registration is required to make sure you are eligible and space is limited. Those interested in participating may call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73052.

Workshops are offered the first week of every month.

Upcoming workshops for 2017:

Date Time and Location
Wednesday, October 4 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Keswick
Wednesday, November 1 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Richmond Hill
Tuesday, December 5 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Newmarket

To learn more about STOP on the Road and find workshops throughout Ontario, visit stopstudy.ca

quitting smoking,nicotine replacement therapy,workshops,smoking,cigarettes,stop smoking,nicotine dependence,help with quitting smoking The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Your Quit Smoking plan

Being prepared and making a personal quit plan will help you quit smoking for good.

Eight tips to making quitting easier

  1. Make a list

    List all the reasons why you want to quit and keep the list close by for when you are tempted to smoke. Think of your:

    • Family and friends
    • Health
    • Self-image
    • Social life
    • Money
  2. Understand your smoking behaviour

    Track your smoking behaviours over a few days using a simple chart. It’s a quick and easy way to recognize your smoking triggers.

    Your chart should include the number of cigarettes, time of day, what you were doing at the time and who you were with. Rate, from one to five, how badly you needed the cigarette, with five being really needed it, and why you were smoking.

  3. Find healthier substitutes for smoking

    Once you understand your smoking behaviours and why you smoke, you’ll be better able to recognize trigger situations ahead of time and choose something other than a cigarette. For example, take a walk, change your routine and get some fresh air.

  4. Change your environment and routine

    Making a few little changes can make it easier to quit. Cut back on caffeine because you may need less as you quit, eat breakfast in a different place and make your home and car smoke-free.

  5. Talk to someone

    By telling others that you are quitting smoking, you are more likely to try your best. Telling friends and family also gives them a chance to help you. Let your doctor or pharmacist know you are quitting smoking. They can provide support and may recommend adjustments or changes to medication you are taking as you quit.

  6. Learn from the past

    If you have tried to quit before, use that experience to make your next try a success.

    For example, you started smoking again because:

    • You could not handle the cravings
    • You constantly found yourself in situations that triggered smoking
    • You were with people who smoked
    • You felt you gained weight

    What could you do differently?

    • Talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to help with your concerns
    • Consider stop smoking medications-they can double your chance of quitting
    • Tips one through four can help!
  7. Set a Quit date

    Pick a low-stress day in the next three weeks and mark it on your calendar. You’re much more likely to start your quit day if it’s written down.

  8. Motivate yourself with positive thoughts

    Think about the positive things about quitting and celebrate being smoke-free:

    • “I did not need to smoke when I was out with my friends”
    • “My car is cleaner now that it is smoke-free”

What if I have a set back?

If you have a set back and have a cigarette or two, it is okay. Remember, quitting is a process that often takes several tries and there are many ways to go about it. Research shows that the chances of quitting for good increases with every try.

Other quit smoking methods

There is no clear evidence that using herbal, laser or hypnosis therapies or e-cigarettes help to quit smoking. It is recommended to research these options before using them.

If you need help call

  • Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 or visit smokershelpline.ca
  • York Region Access York at 1-877-464-9675 TTY (for those with hearing disabilities) 1-866-512-6228
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Medications can help

Quit smoking medications along with support and a quit plan can more than double your chances of quitting success. These medications help by reducing nicotine withdrawal and cravings, which can be intense and uncomfortable.

Before using any medication, talk with your health care provider especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have angina, irregular heartbeat or had a recent heart attack or stroke. If you are on other medications, when you quit or cut down on smoking, the amount of medication you require may change.

Non-prescription medication (over the counter)

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a form of medication that does not require a prescription and is sold at a pharmacy. Tobacco use causes serious health problems; NRT is a much safer option for getting nicotine without the other harmful chemicals found in tobacco. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can be used as long as needed with guidance from a health care provider.

Long acting NRT is a nicotine patch worn on the skin, provides a steady amount of nicotine throughout the day and is replaced every 24 hours. There are patches with different amounts of nicotine and the patch you wear will depend on how much you smoke per day. Ask your pharmacist about which patch is best for you. If you continue to experience episodes of nicotine withdrawal while on the patch, you can also use short acting NRT with guidance from your pharmacist or health care provider.

Common side effects of long acting NRT include skin irritation and sleep disturbance. Speak to your pharmacist to discuss ways to reduce these side effects.

Short acting NRT provides nicotine more quickly and for a short amount of time. It can be found in gum, lozenge, mouth spray and inhaler. Short acting NRT provides nicotine more quickly and for a short amount of time. Some types of short acting NRT can be used in a cut down to quit method. Speak with a pharmacist for details on how to do this.

Common side effects of short acting NRT are hiccups, upset stomach and throat irritation. Reduce side effects by following the directions closely.

Learn how to use NRT with this video How to use the Nicotine Patch

Prescription medications

Bupropion (Zyban) comes in pill form and does not contain nicotine. It helps to reduce nicotine withdrawal and cravings, and you start taking it before your quit date. Your health care provider will advise how long you should take it and the dose you require.

Common side effects of Bupropion (Zyban) are dry mouth and trouble sleeping. Speak with your health care provider if you experience any side effects and ways to manage or reduce them.

Varenicline (Champix) comes in pill form and does not contain nicotine. It reduces the pleasurable effects of smoking, reduces cravings and is started before your quit date. Your health care provider will advise how long you should take it and the dose you require.

Common side effects of Varenicline (Champix) are nausea/vomiting, abnormal dreams, intestinal disturbance and less commonly mood changes.Speak with your health care provider if you experience any side effects and about ways to manage or reduce them.

 

To find out if you are eligible for quit smoking medications at no cost, view ”Where to get cost-free medication”.

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Where to get cost-free medication

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

The Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) Program is a quit smoking program from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Those who qualify can receive five-weeks of nicotine replacement therapy patches at no cost. In partnership with CAMH, York Region Public Health offers a local program called STOP on the Road. Check out the STOP on the Road schedule to find a workshop near you or contact your health care provider to ask if they offer the STOP study.

The Medication Aids for Tobacco Cessation and Health (MATCH) Study is an online-research study by the Nicotine Dependence Clinic at CAMH. The study provides 12-weeks of quit smoking medication (bupropion or varenicline) to those who qualify, for no cost.

Leave the Pack Behind

Leave The Pack Behind is a program funded by the Province of Ontario that offers young adults 18 to29 years of age quit smoking resources and support at no cost. Qualifying young adults may also receive eight-weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy.

Ontario Drug Benefit Program

The Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODBP) covers one 12-week treatment of stop smoking medication (bupropion or varenicline) once a year. Talk to your health care provider about getting a prescription. Some pharmacists may also be able to prescribe quit smoking prescription medications and quit smoking counselling for those who receive ODBP. For more information, talk to your pharmacist or visit the Pharmacy Smoking Cessation Program.

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Information for Health Professionals

Currently, over 50 per cent of all smokers are considering quitting within the next six months.

Brief interventions by health professionals are considered best practice and can improve the chance patients quitting.

Use “The Five A’s”

It only takes three to five minutes to:

Ask about tobacco use.

  • If your patient uses tobacco, ask about whether they have thought about or are currently thinking about quitting

Advise patients that not using tobacco is the most important thing they can do to improve or maintain their health.

  • Talk to the patient about the health benefits of quitting in the short, medium and long term
  • Recommend developing a quit plan and setting a quit date

Assess how ready the patient is to quit smoking.

  • Find out how the patient feels about the idea of quitting
  • Ask the patient how important quitting is to them
  • Ask the patient how confident they are about trying to quit

Assist patients in their decision to quit.

  • Offer support and tips for quitting
  • Ask your patient to consider nicotine replacement therapy or medication, if appropriate

Arrange for follow-up and/or refer to Smokers’ Helpline (1-877-513-5333) for additional counselling and support.

Measuring Success

Quit rates are not the only measure of success in stop-smoking interventions.

The process of quitting is significant.

Slips and relapses are normal.

Success is:

  • Patients reflecting on why they smoke, their health and the health of those around them
  • Making a quit plan
  • Cutting down to quit (gradually reducing smoking or tobacco use before stopping)
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