January 21, 2022
Tobacco control leaders unite during National Non-Smoking Week to kickstart a nationwide smoking cessation project, Smoke Free Curious
TORONTO, ON –
This National Non-Smoking Week, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is proud to officially launch Smoke Free Curious – a national and bilingual smoking cessation campaign funded by Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions program. The new campaign will connect with those who are curious about becoming smoke-free for good and help them build healthier habits this new year.
The campaign is led by CCS in partnership with the Canadian Lung Association, Canadian Public Health Association, Heart & Stroke and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, and was created in partnership with tobacco users and experts in both English and French. The campaign aims to motivate adult tobacco users aged 35-64 in Canada to quit or reduce their commercial tobacco use by connecting them with evidence-based support services.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, killing almost 48,000 Canadians annually, and represents about 30% of all cancer deaths. Tailored to the unique needs of both English and French communities, Smoke Free Curious will help to raise awareness of the numerous benefits of quitting, create connections to proven quit smoking tools and resources, and support Canadians to successfully quit smoking. Importantly, the campaign will help fulfill the Government of Canada’s pledge to help Canadians “commit to quit” by encouraging adults aged 35-64 to quit smoking.
“Smokers have a higher risk of developing at least 16 different types of cancer and, unless they quit, most will die about 10 years earlier than someone who has never smoked,” says Andrea Seale, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. “Living smoke-free is one of the best things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. But we know how difficult it can be to stop smoking and how difficult it can be to do it alone. Fortunately, there is help. Our support programs have a proven track record and we are excited to share Smoke Free Curious to help live healthier lives. Through this unique collaboration with our partners, we hope to reach those who may be considering a change that could help save their life.”
While efforts to curb tobacco use have shown promising results amongst younger users, the prevalence rate for people aged 35-64 has remained relatively stable, with 2.3 million people smoking cigarettes daily or occasionally. To support Canadians in their quit smoking journey, Smoke Free Curious will offer a variety of helpful tools & resources, including connecting people to nationwide Quitline support services and a free trial pack of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for eligible participants. The campaign will also include the First Week Challenge Contest, a quit smoking challenge that engages tobacco users aged 35-64 to make a quit attempt for (at least) the first 7 days.
To learn more about the campaign and explore quit smoking tools and resources, visit SmokeFreeCurious.ca. For free advice and support, call the toll-free Pan-Canadian Quitline at 1-866-366-3667.
In Quebec, the campaign is scheduled to launch at a later date. To learn more about quit smoking tools and resources in Quebec, visit tobaccofreequebec.ca.
We respectfully acknowledge that many First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples have a sacred and ceremonial relationship with traditional tobacco. All mentions of ‘tobacco’ throughout this release refers to commercial tobacco products, such as packaged cigarettes.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever. Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.