Latest News

Region looking to help smokers butt out

National Non-Smoking Week is being recognized from Jan. 19 to 25, and local health officials are reminding residents it’s never too late to quit smoking.

National Non-Smoking Week has been celebrated across Canada for more than 30 years and is held annually to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

“The new year is often a time when people focus on their health and National Non-Smoking Week is a perfect time for residents to consider improving their health by quitting smoking,” said David Amot, a public health nurse with the Durham Region Health Department. “We encourage smokers to talk to their healthcare provider about strategies that can help them quit smoking.”

Research indicates tobacco is responsible for 16,000 deaths every year in Ontario. In addition, based on a 2018 health department survey, 14 per cent, or about 74,300 of Durham Region adults 18 and older are currently smokers. Sixty-five per cent of current smokers indicated they want to quit.

To help in supporting individuals who want to quit smoking, the health department will be offering one-hour smoking cessation education workshops on Monday, Jan. 20 at Durham Region Headquarters, 605 Rossland Rd. E., Whitby and Tuesday, Jan. 21 at South Oshawa Community Centre, 1455 Cedar St., Oshawa. At these workshops, individuals will learn about:

  • The benefits of quitting.
  • How to manage withdrawal symptoms and triggers.
  • Making a quit plan.
  • Quit smoking medications and community supports.

Residents interested in participating in the workshops should call Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 to register. Please note, nicotine replacement products will not be provided at these workshops.

Other opportunities being offered to support individuals who want to quit smoking include:

– The First Week Challenge, a contest sponsored by Smoker’s Helpline that challenges participants to quit smoking for a chance to win $500. For more details, visit .

– The Ultimate Break It Off Challenge which is for young adults who smoke every day, occasionally, or need some motivation to stay smoke-free, or for those who want to help a friend quit smoking and stay smoke-free. For more information visit Registration closes Feb. 6.