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National Non-Smoking Week/ Weedless Wednesday CAMH expert available for media interviews

Toronto, January 20, 2014 – According to the World Health Organization, every eight seconds, someone dies from a tobacco-related illness. In Canada, January 20 - 25, 2014 is National Non-Smoking Week, a week designed to raise awareness about the effects of tobacco use in order to help prevent smoking and to help smokers quit.

Despite the negative impact on health, it is clear that nicotine has a firm grip on those who use it.In 2012 roughly1,750,000 Ontarians age 15+ reported smoking on a daily basis. Dr. Peter Selby, Chief of Addictions at CAMH is available to discuss tobacco addiction, smoking cessation, policy, research and treatment. This Weedless Wednesday, Dr. Selby will mark a milestone: 100,000 Ontario smokers have benefited from free smoking cessation supports through the STOP program.

Thinking about quitting smoking? Here are some tips to get you started·       

  • Set a target date when you will make a quit attempt.

  • Make your home smoke-free before you quit. If you go outside to smoke, it will help you start changing some of your routines. This is an important first step in changing any behavior.

  • Make your vehicle smoke- free. This might be an important part of your smoking routine.

  • Identify your triggers. What makes you want to light up? Your morning coffee? After a meal? Smoke breaks? Alcohol? Make a list of the most common triggers.

  • Eliminate any triggers or reminders of smoking from your home by removing ashtrays, lighters, and matches.

  • Do you work with someone who smokes? How will you plan your day if you usually take ‘smoke breaks’ with them?

  • Change your daily routine. This strategy helps to reduce and even eliminate some of your daily smoking triggers.

  • Consider activities that will replace your smoking: exercise, knitting, or other activities you can do with your hands.

  • Reward yourself throughout your quit journey.  Build incentives into your quit plan and take some time to recognize even the small changes you may make that move you one step closer to your goal of quitting.

  • Get medications such as nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medication such as bupropion or varenicline since they increase your chances of quitting

  • If you are in Toronto, the CAMH Nicotine Dependence Clinic can help you with a personalized treatment plan to increase your chances of quitting smoking. Please call(416) 535-8501 x 7400.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and  one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit www.camh.ca.
Media Contact: Kate Richards, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015 or 
media@camh.ca

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