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Tobacco-Free Living Champions Success Stories

As part of its vision to promote a tobacco-free province, the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition shares success stories from individuals, groups and organizations who have taken action to live tobacco-free in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities. An interesting collection of stories that highlight inspiring ideas and celebrates tobacco-free living champions within our province is published here.

All across New Brunswick, communities and individuals are promoting healthy tobacco-free lifestyles. Do you have a success story to share? We'd love to hear and showcase your story! Contact us. We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter and share the links to these stories - simply look for the #TobaccoFreeLiving #Champion hashtags.  

New Brunswick Tobacco-Free Living Champions Stories: 

2017

A Father and Artist’s Journey to Becoming Smoke-Free: Patrick Hardy’s Story
Patrick Hardy, 42, is a well-known spokesperson for autism, thanks to a book series called My Friend Sam, which presents the daily struggles that children who are diagnosed with autism deal with every day, inspired by his son Samuel, now 11 years old. Few people know that this prolific author, illustrator and artist has another personal accomplishment very dear to his heart but that he seldom talks about: he has been smoke-free for the past 11 years. And much like his book series, it was thanks to his son Samuel that he found a new passion: tobacco-free living! Read more.

A Group Effort at School and in the Community: the Success Story of Fundy High School
Sarah Morgan-Lee is a science and math teacher at Fundy High School. She also works with the school's Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) group. "Our name is our mission," she said. The group consists of 20 students, ranging from grades 9 to 12, as well as different members of the school's staff and professional health practitioners. Their goal is to promote and support tobacco-free living at school and in the community. Read more.

Stop Smoking, Start Living! at Harvest House Atlantic
Denise McCluskey is the Development and Marketing Officer at Harvest House Atlantic in Moncton. The centre has been a staple of the city since 1997, offering an emergency homeless shelter, serving over 150 meals a day, and hosting several recovery and General Educational Development programs. Through a government program, the centre hired an employee to keep the location clean. Denise explains that no matter how well he cleaned the grounds, when she arrived to work in the morning, she found cigarette butts everywhere. Read more.

Let the Students Choose Their Path: the Ridgeview Middle School Success sSory
The Ridgeview Middle School teaches 289 students from grades 6 to 8 in the Oromocto region. Wendy Carlisle, the school coordinator, with Julie Carr and Pat Kilfillen, two public health nurses, facilitate the school's first Middle School TATU Club, with the help of a Take Action Against Tobacco Use grant from the Department of Social Development. Read more.

Information and Life-Skills to Prevent Smoking in Children: the Success Story of the St. Joseph's Community Health Centre
Kathy London Anthony works as a community health nurse at the St. Joseph's Community Health Centre in Saint John. Inside St. Joseph's Hospital, a team of professionals, including family physicians, nurses and social workers offer a variety of services to residents in the area. On a day-to-day basis, Kathy explains that prevention is key to providing health care. Read more.


2016

Smoke-Free, at School and in the Community: the Property Surrounding Cité des Jeunes A.-M. Sormany goes 100% smoke-free!
For the 965 students, back-to-school was special this year at Cité des Jeunes A.-M. Sormany in Edmundston. Since September 1st, 2016, with the help of the Take Action on Tobacco Use Grant Program, the school launched the « Un environnement sans fumée, à l'école et dans ma communauté » (A smoke-free environment at school and in my community) program, which makes the school and neighbouring properties, including various sports and arts facilities, 100% smoke-free. Read more.

The Moncton Hospital Marks Successful Completion of a Year of Smoke-Free Together Throughout New Brunswick
On October 5, 2016, the Moncton Hospital became the final hospital in the Horizon Health Network to join the Smoke-Free Environment Policy. "The event went very well. It's a matter of health and safety for the patients, employees and visitors," explained Dr. Serge Melanson, Chief of Staff at the Moncton Hospital. Read more.

For All the World to Know, Even With Life's Challenges: Gabriella Simon's Personal Smoking Cessation Story.
In August, the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition found out about Gabriella Simon through Twitter, by searching for a new success story to feature this fall. "I forgot to say it's been one year since I quit smoking cigarettes!" she wrote in a tweet. Read more.

Smoke-Free Together Initiative Successful at Saint John Regional Hospital.
In September 2015, Horizon Health Network announced the introduction of its Smoke-Free Environment for the buildings and grounds of all of its hospitals. The Saint John Regional Hospital was the first hospital to implement the policy through an initiative called Smoke-Free Together. Read more.

You Have to Do It for Yourself! Sandra Melanson’s Personal Smoking Cessation Story.
Sandra Melanson started smoking when she was 15 years old. “From the very first inhale of tobacco smoke, I was hooked,” she recalls. “All my friends smoked back then; it was out of peer pressure that I started. We’d be smoking in the school yard and at the bus stop.” Read more.

Mike and Karen McGraw Share How Being Smoke-Free Has Positively Impacted Their Lives.
Earlier this year, the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) held a Twitter contest inviting citizens to celebrate National Non-Smoking Week by posting photos of signs indicating smoke-free outdoor public spaces in their communities. Turns out that contest winner, Karen McGraw, of Oromocto, and her family, had a very personal story to share on how being smoke-free has positively impacted their lives. Read more

Bonar Law Memorial High School’s Teens Against Tobacco Use Club Uses Engaging Peer-Lead Outreach to Help Its Student Population Be Smoke-Free.
Bonar Law Memorial High School’s (Rexton, New Brunswick) It’s Quitting Time project has got its grade 9 through 12 Teens Against Tobacco Use Club members coming up with creative ways to get their peers to adopt healthy smoke-free lifestyles. Read more.

Harcourt School Empowers Its Young Students to Say No to Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke.
Kevin Scully is the principal at Harcourt School, a very small rural school in Kent County, New Brunswick with only 40 students from kindergarten through grade 5. Thanks to a Take Action Against Tobacco Use Grant offered by the New Brunswick Department of Social Development, Scully has been able to implement a tobacco-free living education initiative at his school that has empowered his young students to encourage their families to live healthier and tobacco-free lifestyles. Read more

Team NB Benefits from Healthy Tobacco-Free Policy at North American Indigenous Games.
Did you know that First Nations youth in New Brunswick are living healthy tobacco-free lifestyles thanks to sports and recreation? One of the best examples of tobacco-free sports programs and initiatives is the North American Indigenous Games’ zero tolerance policy when it comes to recreational tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. The coaches, athletes, and members from Team NB have reaped enormous benefits from following and ensuring compliance with this policy. Read more

"Smart Choices Centre" Is the Place to Be for Students at Caledonia Regional High School - Reinforcing Healthy Tobacco-Free Habits.
Like many rural schools, Caledonia Regional High School’s community has few entertainment options for its older students who are permitted to leave the school campus during lunchtime. Teacher Benjamin Kelly knew boredom and a lack of stimulating activities leads teenagers to make unhealthy choices. He thus came up with the idea of setting up a fun, safe and healthy space inside the school where the students would want to hang out during lunch hour instead of leaving the school’s grounds.  This room became the Smart Choices Centre. Read more. 

The Movement for Outdoor Smoke-free Spaces is growing in New Brunswick. All Vitalité Health Network’s Hospitals and Clinics Will Respect a Smoke-free Environment Policy on Their Properties.
Beginning in 2015, New Brunswick’s Health Networks have become leaders in the growing movement for developing more outdoor spaces free of second-hand smoke. Read more.

2015

New Brunswick’s Anti-Tobacco Movement. With Modifications to its Smoke-free Places and Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Acts, Province Boasts Some of the Most Progressive Anti-Tobacco Laws in the Country.
Did you know that New Brunswick made significant gains in the fight against tobacco in 2015 when the government announced amendments to the Smoke-free Places Act and the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act? These changes propelled the province to the forefront as one of the most progressive jurisdictions when it comes to tobacco control policies. Read more. 

Horizon Health Network’s Smoke-Free Environment Policy: A Positive Change Moving New Brunswick Towards a Healthier Future. Saint John Regional Hospital First Property to Go Completely Smoke-Free.
Horizon Health Network marked World Heart Health Day on September 29th 2015 by launching its new smoke-free environment policy at the Saint John Regional Hospital. This momentous step demonstrates true leadership in health and wellness promotion, which will move New Brunswick towards a brighter and healthier smoke-free future. Read more

Smoker’s Helpline – Cessation Support Only A Click or Call Away.
Current research shows that about half of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices and policies that protect the public. The single best thing a person can do to improve one’s health is to quit smoking. Take Karen Hodgin, of Riverview, for example. She smoked for 48 years, but thanks to Smokers’ Helpline, a free, confidential and non-judgmental service available to Canadians who want to quit tobacco use or need help staying smoke-free, and the support of family and friends, she has been smoke-free since 2013. Read more.

“Cigarettes Have No More Power Over Me!” Local Musician Dan Maloney Shares His Personal Struggle and Victory Over Nicotine.
Dan “the piano guy” Maloney’s talent has been impressing audiences since the age of 15.  An accomplished musician, this Saint John (New Brunswick) native has shared his joie de vivre and musical talent through shows in piano bars, nightclubs, conventions, trade shows, private parties and weddings with a mixture of classic hits, top star impersonations and comedy routines. Now at 57 years of age, Dan is set to inspire others with a catchy anthem about quitting smoking. The song has a universal appeal, yet is profoundly personal, for his proudest accomplishment to date is his victory over his nicotine addiction, which had for far too long affected his health and well-being. Read more

Riverview Pharmacy Playing Key Role in Promoting Healthy Smoke-Free Lifestyles.
For the Jean Coutu Pharmacy on Coverdale Road in Riverview (New Brunswick), customer service goes beyond offering and dispensing medication. The pharmacy’s staff is involved in various community outreach and well-being initiatives, such as free counseling services, health assessments, a walking club, and various clinics aimed at helping customers better manage their health. One of the most popular among these health and wellbeing initiatives is the pharmacy’s lung testing clinic, held once per month. This free clinic (by appointment) offers customers the chance to take a breathing test that screens for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Read more.

Défi Qui Cesse Gagne! (Biggest Quitter Challenge) Personal Commitments Towards Tobacco-Free Living.
For many people, quitting smoking can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome. It is a challenge that is often made easier with the support and encouragement of others. Often, the act of sharing a personal goal, like quitting smoking, with an attentive ear, getting the right resources and knowing that someone supports you and will follow up to encourage you along your journey are what you need to begin leading a healthier lifestyle. That’s the idea behind the défi "Qui Cesse Gagne!" (Biggest Quitter Challenge), which took place on January 29, 2015, and invited all residents in the Acadian Peninsula to commit to a healthier smoke-free lifestyle. Read more.

"Break It Off" Campaign Comes to New Brunswick! Students Embrace Newfound Savings By Dumping their Cigarettes.
What do you get when you mix a few young, outgoing and high energy smoking cessation ambassadors on a cross-Canada tour with an eye-catching truck from which young people can tell the world, via the power of social media, what they will do with the money they save by not smoking? You get Canada’s Biggest Break Up Tour, an innovative and highly engaging campaign led by Health Canada aimed at getting young people to Break It Off with their cigarettes or, for non-smokers, commit to remaining smoke-free. Read more.

The Town of Hampton Shows It Is a Tobacco-Free Living Champion With Its New Outdoor Smoke-Free Policy.
In December 2014, the Town of Hampton showed tobacco-free living leadership by implementing a policy restricting the use of tobacco on all town-owned property, including parks, trails and outdoor spaces around the Hampton Community Centre. Deputy Mayor Robert Doucet says he was first concerned about his community’s smoking habits when the town started receiving citizens’ complaints about people smoking on the playgrounds. Another common place smokers were often seen was just outside the ice rink’s doors – where of course many kids come in and out. Read more.

In the Acadian Peninsula, Smokers Are Learning to Run and Breathe In Fresh Air - Tobacco-Free!
Brigitte Ouellette is a Respiratory Therapist and Certified Respiratory Educator at the Vitalité Health Network. As a member of the Acadian Peninsula’s Anti-Tobacco Coalition, she and her colleagues are always looking for interesting initiatives that can reach smokers and give them tools to live a healthier tobacco-free lifestyle. One of the coalition’s newest program – Learn to Run for Smokers – is an innovative answer to this dilemma. The program was first launched by the Lung Association of Nova Scotia and caught the coalition’s eye. Read more

Quitting Smoking: A Race Towards Health and Wellness. Robert Roy-Boudreau's Smoking Cessation Journey.
Robert Roy-Boudreau attributes training for a marathon with helping him to quit smoking, with the end result being the ability to fully live and celebrate life. His race began over a year ago and he’s been sharing his story ever since in order to encourage smokers and ex-smokers to live tobacco-free. Read more

Many New Brunswick Communities Want to Organize Smoke-Free Outdoor Events.
For many New Brunswickers, getting out and enjoying nature does not include the idea of second-hand cigarette smoke. Perhaps this was no more evident than in the recent in motion Parks & Trails Day held every year in June – a province-wide event promoting healthy, active living in our communities while celebrating the many incredible outdoor spaces in our beautiful province. This past summer’s celebration saw a record number of 47 events throughout the province, 44 of which were smoke-free. Read more

2014 in motion Parks & Trails Day in New Brunswick: Smoke-Free Green Spaces!
The in motion Parks & Trails Day on June 1st is an annual province-wide event promoting healthy, active living in our communities while celebrating the many incredible outdoor spaces in our beautiful province. Led by communities, wellness networks, school leaders and volunteers, it is an opportunity for New Brunswickers to get active by taking to their favourite trails, parks, paths and waterways. Held for the first time in 2013, the success of in motion Parks & Trails Day continues to grow. This year’s celebration saw a record number of 47 events throughout the province, 44 of which were smoke-free. Read more


2014

Teens Against Tobacco Use - Eleanor Graham Middle School.

The Eleanor W. Graham Middle School now has Teens against Tobacco Use (TATU) club. Formed in April, 2012 this is the club's second year of work that focuses on bringing awareness and education to the school population and parents on the dangers of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. Read more. 

Teens Against Tobacco Use- Oromocto High School.
For more than 10 years, Oromocto High School's Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) has been promoting anti-smoking and providing education and awareness of its effects.Each year TATU members apply a wide range of interventions and strategies during the school year, including fall presentations to Grade 9 students on the effects of tobacco. The teens also reach out to local middle schools in the spring to give Grade 7 students information on tobacco use. The goal of these presentations is to get students to work with younger students before they start smoking. This is a great example of how the group uses a population health framework to help decrease tobacco use by increasing upstream investments - in other words, getting an early start on influencing healthy behaviors. Read more


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