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Province supports smokers who want to quit

In recognition of National Non-Smoking Week, the Saskatchewan Government is encouraging residents to make healthy lifestyle choices and consider quitting if they use tobacco.

In recognition of National Non-Smoking Week, the Saskatchewan Government is encouraging residents to make healthy lifestyle choices and consider quitting if they use tobacco. Through the provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health provides support to those who want to quit using tobacco or help others do so.

"Our government is committed to reducing tobacco use in Saskatchewan," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "In October 2010, we released Building a Healthier Saskatchewan: a strategy to reduce tobacco use. One of the goals of the strategy is to encourage and assist tobacco users to stop or reduce their tobacco use."

The Ministry of Health is working with the Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan in providing training opportunities through the Partnership to Assist with the Cessation of Tobacco (PACT) program and its subsidiary, Tobacco Addiction Recovery (TAR) program. The training is targeted to health care providers, school staff and others interested in assisting tobacco users in their efforts to quit. Visit for more information on this program.

The Smokers' Helpline is another service in the province that provides support to adult tobacco users as they take steps to quit. It is provided through the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division with funding from the Ministry of Health. For more information on the Smokers' Helpline visit

"The Helpline provides every Saskatchewan smoker including those in remote rural communities, with free access to a trained specialist to help them quit smoking," Tobacco Control Manager for the Canadian Cancer Society Donna Pasiechnik said. "For those smokers who haven't yet called the Smokers Helpline, we urge them to do so."

"Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in Canada," Saskatchewan Lung Association Health Education Vice-President Jennifer Miller said. "Smoking kills 720 people annually in Saskatchewan from lung diseases alone. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan has just developed a new booklet called "How Do you Want to Quit?" which can be downloaded at Quitting tobacco use is one of the best gifts you can give yourself! In order to be successful at quitting, you need to find a method that will work for you."

Recently, the ministry announced additional assistance to help people quit tobacco use. As of January 1, two smoking cessation prescription drugs have been added to the Saskatchewan Formulary. The cost of these medications is determined by an individual's level of coverage under the Saskatchewan Drug Plan's programs.

Regional Health Authorities throughout the province are also offering tobacco cessation assistance. People can ask their health care providers for more information about supports and programs in their communities.

In addition to this work, the tobacco strategy is moving forward to address the goals of prevention and protection. In 2010, legislation was introduced banning smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 16, around doorways, windows and air intakes of public buildings, and all tobacco use on school grounds, among others. Other initiatives include building awareness about the importance of tobacco reduction, support for initiatives in settings such as schools and workplaces, and the monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives within the strategy.

For more information on tobacco reduction in Saskatchewan, and supports and programs to help people quit smoking visit the Ministry of Health website at