May 31, 2021 (Toronto) – Smoking cigarettes continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and illness in Ontario. With the added potential risk of serious health complications from COVID-19, smokers looking to quit can now do so from the comfort and safety of their home with CAMH’s STOP on the Net— a free, online smoking cessation program for Ontario adults over 18 years of age.
“We’ve learned that smokers attempting to quit smoking were less successful during the pandemic than pre-COVID,” said Dr. Peter Selby, Clinician Scientist and Lead of CAMH’s Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) Program. “We also know that COVID-19 and smoking both disproportionately impact lower-income populations. With STOP on the Net, we want to ensure we are providing equitable opportunities for individuals to seek smoking cessation treatment, especially during the pandemic. Having access to no-cost nicotine replacement therapy reduces barriers to making a quit attempt and increases the likelihood of that attempt being successful.”
People looking for assistance with their smoking cessation may also be facing barriers to in-person options during the pandemic as public health officials urge everyone to stay at home as much as possible and frontline workers continue to support Ontario’s COVID-19 response. With support from the Ministry of Health, STOP on the Net extends CAMH’s programming beyond clinic settings to remove barriers and reach even more Ontarians.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has been committed to ensuring Ontarians can continue to access the safe and effective supports they need – when and where they need them,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We are proud to be supporting CAMH in delivering this innovative virtual program, so that more Ontarians can receive the help they need to quit smoking and live a healthier life, all from the safety of their home.”
Ontarians interested in STOP on the Net can self-register and eligible participants will receive a nicotine replacement therapy kit in the mail; no intervention or workshops are required by a practitioner.
Learn more about enrolling in STOP on the Net here.
CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness 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 follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.