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Smokers get chance to help kick the habit

STOP On-the-Road, a successful stop smoking program, is returning to Northwestern Ontario after a two-year absence.

The week-long stop smoking tour targeting six communities will offer up to 350 qualified smokers advice on how to quit and five weeks’ supply of free nicotine replacement therapy.

STOP stands for Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients and the Northwestern Ontario tour will begin Monday, Oct. 18 in Kenora, with stops in Dryden, Fort Frances, Marathon, and Schreiber/Terrace Bay before ending in Thunder Bay on Sunday, Oct 24.

“The Northwestern Health Unit is excited about the opportunity to co-host the fourth STOP Study tour in Northwestern Ontario,” said Jennifer McKibbon, enforcement manager with the health unit.

“Three of the six workshop locations are in our health unit region, and up to 175 smokers will have the chance to take an important step towards better health by making a quit attempt,” she noted.

For many smokers, the cost of nicotine replacement products is a barrier to their quitting. The STOP Study is an evidence-based program that provides five weeks’ free nicotine replacement, a practical support for alleviation of nicotine withdrawal symptoms which can help smokers to quit smoking.

By participating in the STOP Study, eligible smokers will receive five weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (a $175 value) as gum, patches, lozenges, or inhalers.

The three-hour workshops will provide smokers with information on how to use nicotine replacement therapy and assistance in preparing a personal quit plan.

The free nicotine replacement therapy will be available at the completion of the workshop.

Smokers interested in attending the Kenora, Dryden, and Fort Frances workshops should phone Northwestern Health Unit at 1-888-404-4231 to see if they qualify.

The STOP Study is conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health partnering with the Northwestern Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, NorWest Community Health Centres, and the Smokers’ Helpline.

The STOP Study is funded by Smoke-Free Ontario, which is part of the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport.

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