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Considering Quitting Smoking/Vaping?

Thinking about quitting or reducing your risk? This page has information to help you make decisions about your health – including quitting, modifying or reducing your risk with the use of nicotine.

Quitting is hard, but it’s not impossible. Every year, people make the choice to go tobacco free and you can too. We are here to help.

Contact us at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2468 or email [email protected] to speak to trained cessation providers who can provide counseling, help develop a quit smoking/vaping plan, answer questions and provide referrals to programs and services that are right for you. Let us help you with your quit journey.

Attend an in-person session in Brockville or Smiths Falls with a quit coach. Check out times dates here.

Join our Facebook Group for online support.

Ready to learn more? Check out the tabs below:

Think about preparing. The better prepared you are, the higher the likelihood of success.

  • Think about the reason you have for quitting and make a list. Some reasons for quitting smoking can be personal reasons, medical effects, health benefits, financial advantages and effects on others.
  • Repeat these reasons to yourself several times each morning.
  • Set a date to quit. Choose a date that is not on or near a special event, birthday or anniversary. An example of a quit date is an average Monday. 
  • Make a list of people who can support your intentions to quit, such as co-workers, family members and friends. See our Ready to Quit Smoking/Vaping page.
  • Know what to expect. Educate yourself about common withdrawal symptoms, possible side effects of any stop smoking aids you are using (e.g. Nicotine Replacement Therapy), how to cope with withdrawal and cravings, and some things you may experience after quitting, such as coughing.
  • Think about how you’ll spend your extra money, how good you’ll feel about yourself, how much better your clothes will smell, how much more energy you’ll have and how much fresher your breath will be.

Quitting smoking is an individual experience. By simply thinking about wanting to quit, you are one step closer to becoming tobacco free.

Now that you have thought about preparing to quit, are you ready to quit smoking/vaping?

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and quality of life. Non-smokers have a much lower risk of smoking-related diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) 

You will start seeing health benefits soon after you smoke your last cigarette. Within:

  • 20 minutes – your blood pressure drops to a level similar to what it was before your last cigarette.
  • 8 hours – the level of carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) in your blood drops to normal.
  • 24 hours – your risk of having a heart attack starts to drop.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months – the airways in your lungs relax and you can get more air into your lungs and breathe easier.
  • 1 to 9 months – you cough less and your lungs work even better.
  • 1 year – your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
  • 5 years – you have the same chance of having a stroke as a non-smoker.
  • 10 Years – your chance of dying from lung cancer is much lower. So is your chance of getting cancer in your mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and/or pancreas.
  • 15 Years – your risk of coronary heart disease similar to that of a non-smoker.

The health benefits of quitting are the same for all types of smokers (men and women, young and old). By quitting, you will also lower the chances of people around you having health problems from second hand smoke.

Vaping is not a recommended way to quit or cut down on tobacco use due to the unknown long-term health effects and highly addictive nature of e-cigarettes as well as the fact that no e-cigarette has been approved specifically for use as a quit-aid yet in Canada. However, some people have found success in quitting by using these products so we offer some guidelines below on how to reduce your risk when using nicotine containing e-cigarettes or vapes. 

There is no safe level of tobacco use. Any amount of tobacco use carries some risk to health. It is important to know and understand those risks. If you choose to use tobacco or nicotine in any form, here are some tips to reduce your risk. For general information on tobacco and its risks – see the Tobacco Use webpage.

  • If you are vaping, choose e-cigarette cartridges with less or no nicotine. Products with more nicotine increase your risk of addiction. Only use vaping devices that have been authorized for sale in Canada and don’t make changes to your product by adding any substances.
  • If you vape, switch completely from smoking to e-cigarettes. Dual use increases your exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Learn to manage your cravings. 
  • Make the switch to nicotine products that do not burn, or that do not contain tobacco.
  • Use approved Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) to help you stop or reduce your use of nicotine products. Do not use these products if you are not dependent on nicotine.
  • Lower Risk Nicotine Guidelines

Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products monitor themselves for symptoms of lung injuries or illnesses (e.g. coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain) and seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

Click here for more information from Health Canada on vaping related lung illnesses or injuries.

Nicotine poisoning refers to toxicity related to nicotine products. While it has been a relatively rare occurrence historically, nicotine toxicity has become more prevalent in recent years. This spike is attributed to new versions of nicotine products. Nicotine in liquid form, such as found in e-liquids or e-juice, can be rapidly absorbed through the skin or mucous membranes. Wear protective gear like gloves when handling e-liquid or refilling cartridges and keep all nicotine products safely stored away from children and pets. 

Symptoms of nicotine toxicity may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased blood pressure
  • abnormal heart rate
  • dehydration
  • loss of appetite
  • extreme fatigue
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • gas
  • anxiety
  • hearing and vision changes

Treatment for nicotine poisoning depends on the severity and amount of exposure. It generally requires assessment by a health care provider and may require treatment at the hospital.

Every Thursday from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Speaker: Emilie Serano, advanced practice nurse Ottawa Heart Institute

  • Understand why it’s hard to quit using tobacco products or e-cigarettes.
  • Know your options and how the medications that help you quit smoking work.
  • Learn how to add changes to your daily routine during your quit attempt.
  • Discuss some of the common obstacles to quitting and how to prepare for them.
  • Know how to prevent returning to use.

Location: Microsoft Teams.

Ever wonder what happens to your brain when you smoke or vape nicotine? Do you want to understand why quitting can be so hard? Watch this short 4 minute video to learn more, then reach out to us to see how we can help. Call us 1-800-660-5853 extension 2468 or email [email protected].