January 19 – 25, 2014 is National Non-Smoking Week, a week designed to raise awareness, prevent individuals from starting to smoke, help smokers quit and promote smoke-free environments. This year’s theme is "Truth in Advertising".
It was 50 years ago this month that U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued his groundbreaking report stating that smoking caused illness and death and calling on the government to do something about it. In the decades that followed we've come a long way: putting warning labels on cigarette packs, banning cigarette commercials, raising taxes and restricting where people can light up, but we still have a long way to go.
Smoking is still responsible for more deaths each year than drug and alcohol abuse, car crashes, AIDS, murder and suicide combined. According to the World Health Organization, every eight seconds someone dies from a tobacco-related illness. It's clear that nicotine has a firm grip on those who consume it. But there are ways to break the addiction.
CAMH's STOP Program (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) has reached a milestone of its own recently, providing free smoking cessation medication and counselling support to over 100,000 Ontarians who have wanted to quit smoking.
Exciting new research at CAMH, led by Dr. Martin Zack, is looking at the potential for using non-invasive brain stimulation to help smokers quit, as explained in this CAMH Video: Helping smokers butt-out featuring Dr. Zack adn Dr. Peter Selby, Chief of the Addictions Program at CAMH.
Like a number of other hospitals in Canada, the U.S., and around the world, CAMH recently launching an initiative to become tobacco free. Research shows that tobacco-free psychiatric facilities are associated with a number of health and safety benefits to patient recovery.
Want to quit? Click on the following links for tips and additional information.