For immediate Release – June 14, 2010 – (Sudbury) – Sudbury residents who want to quit smoking will soon have more tools to do so, thanks to a pair of innovative programs from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and funding from the Ministry of Health Promotion.
On June 21 and 22, CAMH’s STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Study will be conducting workshops in the Sudbury area to help people quit smoking. Participants will receive free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), including patches, inhalers, lozenges and gum. CAMH will provide follow-up and monitor the NRT’s effectiveness during the quitting process.
While smoking rates in Ontario have declined over the past 20 years, 17% of Ontarians continue to smoke. “This represents approximately 2 million people who may potentially develop serious illness as a direct result of their dependence on tobacco,” said Dr. Peter Selby, Clinical Director of CAMH’s Addictions Program and Principal Investigator of the STOP Study. “We know that these treatments can be very effective, and STOP allows us to help people while monitoring which treatment methods are most effective. Based on what we learn from this we will better be able to treat people in the future,” he said.
Smoking is the largest preventable cause of disease in Ontario and represents a significant burden on Ontario’s health care system, totaling $1 billion every year. The good news is that it is never too late to quit. Since the STOP study was first introduced in 2005, 60,000 participants have received treatment from CAMH.
During the same week that the STOP Study comes to Sudbury, over 100 health practitioners in Northern Ontario will be attending an intensive program to learn about the latest evidence-based tobacco treatment medications and counselling.
CAMH’s Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counseling and Health (TEACH) Project trains health care professionals in the public, private and non-profit sectors who provide counselling services to people who use tobacco. “It’s crucial that primary care providers know what options are available and how to discuss them with their patients,” added Dr. Selby. “Some people may not seek treatment for their smoking, but frontline health care providers are in the position to educate their patients and counsel them in making healthier choices – including quitting smoking.” The TEACH training program is fully accredited through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine.
Together, these two CAMH programs will help increase tobacco cessation capacity in Northern Ontario. Through TEACH, people seeking treatment will have better access to health professionals with specialized training; while STOP allows people to access treatment and support right away.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.