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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Helping patients address multiple risk factors for smoking

CAMH capped off National Non-Smoking Week with a $700,000 gift from the
Public Health Agency of Canada for the Picking up the PACE (Promoting and Accelerating Change through Empowerment) program – a new, holistic smoking cessation resource program for health practitioners provided through CAMH. 


“Tobacco use alone is harmful enough but when combined with poor nutrition, physical inactivity, stress, poor sleep and or excessive drinking, the risk for chronic disease and dying early increase immensely,” said Dr. Peter Selby, CAMH’s Director of Medical Education. 


The Picking up the PACE program provides online courses for health practitioners as well as tools they can use with patients to help address multiple risk factors for smoking, such as excess alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, stress and poor sleep.


“The Government of Canada is proud to support programs like Picking Up the PACE  that help reduce tobacco use and addiction, and contribute to improved health for Canadians,” said Robert Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West at a CAMH event January 26.  “Through this project, we are helping health practitioners who support Canadians in improving their overall health, well-being and quality of life.”

Robert Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West on behalf of Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announces funding for Picking Up the PACE.


The Picking up the Pace program builds on CAMH’s Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health Project, which trains health practitioners on how to promote healthy living habits that can help Canadians decrease tobacco use. PACE is also supported by the Medical Psychiatry Alliance (MPA), a collaborative health partnership of CAMH, SickKids, Trillium Health Partners, the University of Toronto and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The MPA’s goal is to provide better access to, and coordination of, integrated health care services for patients living with co-existing mental and physical illnesses.

(L to R): Robert Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West, Lori Spadorcia, VP, Communications and Partnerships, CAMH Rosa Dragonetti, Project Director, Addictions Research and Education, CAMH and Dr. Peter Selby, CAMH Director of Medical Education.  

“Our patients need expert treatment paying attention to root causes to improve these behaviours,” said Dr. Selby.  I am very grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada and for the additional support from the MPA to enable us to develop better programs to help patients lead healthier lives.”

Read the news release from the Government of Canada.

Published on January 26, 2018​​​​​​​​

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