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Media Release: Attempting to quit smoking or vaping is more important than ever

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/January 19, 2021 – This National Non-Smoking Week, Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is reminding tobacco users and vapers that quitting takes practice…so practice often! Even if pandemic related stress has impacted your plans to quit, don’t be discouraged. It may take between 7 and 30 attempts before being able to break the addiction for good, so if at first you don’t succeed, try again! Your perseverance will pay off, since quitting smoking or vaping is one of the best things a person can do for their health.

Making a quit attempt is more important than ever. As respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 impact an individual’s lungs, quitting smoking or vaping can help reduce your chances of experiencing more severe symptoms of these illnesses. Recent research has concluded that if smokers become sick with COVID-19, they are more likely to have worse symptoms, be admitted to an ICU, and pass away as compared to non-smokers.  Smoking and vaping may also increase chances of contracting COVID-19 or other viruses, since smoking requires individuals to remove their mask and also increases hand to mouth contact. In addition, the benefits of quitting can be experienced within 20 minutes after your last cigarette and can continue to be seen for up to 15 years.

Even though HPEPH is offering limited in-person services at the current time due pandemic response requirements, additional supports and services remain available to help people quit.

  • Trained quit specialists are available by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
  • Online resources can be found at smokershelpline.ca where you can also chat with a trained quit coach.
  • Canadian Addictions and Mental Health also offers a STOP on the Net program, which offers online support and 4 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy nicotinedependenceclinic.com.
  • Youth friendly support is available at breakitoff.ca, and local high school students can contact their school Public Health Nurse to discuss quit options. School nurses remain available during remote schooling. Contact your guidance office to learn more.

For more information about any of these support resources, you can contact HPEPH’s  Tobacco Talk Line at 613-966-5500 ext.600, visit hpePublicHealth.ca/vaping or hpePublicHealth.ca/quit-smoking-program.

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Media contacts
Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.