For some cancer diagnoses, the benefit of quitting smoking may match or even exceed the value of state-of-the-art cancer therapies.
Quit Smoking – It’s Never Too Late
You can reduce your risk of dying by 30 to 40 percent if you quit smoking when your cancer is diagnosed. Quitting also reduces the risk of your cancer returning or another type of cancer developing. Learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking (or smoking cessation).
Our 3As Approach to Help You
We believe it’s essential to talk about tobacco use in cancer care. Like all of Ontario’s Regional Cancer Programs, we use this 3As approach with you and other patients:
- Ask “if you smoke” – We will ask if you have used any tobacco products in the last six months. If you quit when you were diagnosed, you may still need or want help to stay smoke-free. Knowing your smoking status will help our team provide you with the resources and support you need.
- Discuss the benefits of quitting – We will recommend that you quit smoking and talk to you about some of the benefits of staying smoke-free during and after your treatment. These benefits will help us make your care the best it can be.
- Offer help to quit smoking – We will offer you a referral to a support service, which you do not have to accept if you are not ready. If you decide at a later appointment that you would like help, ask your healthcare provider what options are best for you. They can refer you at any time during your treatment.
Quit Smoking Help
Local Health Unit Support:
If you are currently using tobacco products and ready to think about quitting, call your local health unit for free resources and information about workshops to help you quit.
You can also contact the Smokers’ HelpLine at 1-877-513-5333 for support to quit smoking or to learn about local services.
Community Pharmacies Counselling Program:
In Ontario, many community pharmacies offer a ‘smoking cessation’ counselling program to help you quit smoking and it’s covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program. A pharmacist in your community is available to help you quit smoking.
View/download this Smoking Cessation Pharmacy Guide to find a pharmacy close to you that offers this counselling program. Please contact the pharmacist first to find out when they are available.
Resources to Help You Quit:
Click the links below to access each additional resource to help you or a family member/friend quit. (And if you don’t want to quit, check this booklet to learn why you might want to reconsider.)
- Canadian Cancer Society Quit Smoking Booklet (for smokers who want to quit)
- Canadian Cancer Society Help a Smoker Quit Booklet
- Ontario Lung Association’s Quit Smoking Workbook
- Smokers’ Helpline Online- Link to Online and Telephone Quit Programs
- Cancer Care Ontario’s Report on Tobacco as a Cancer Risk Factor in Ontario
We want to support you on your steps toward living smoke-free and help you get the most out of your treatment.
Living smoke-free also includes avoiding sources of second and third-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is the smoke that comes from a cigarette someone else is smoking, which can be harmful to those who breathe it in. Third-hand smoke is what is left around you by tobacco smoke. It can be gases going back into the air and build-up on clothing, carpet and furniture surfaces, where it can linger for many months. It’s never too late to take steps toward living smoke-free.
Additional Help for First Nation Inuit and Métis Partners:
The Aboriginal Tobacco Program at Cancer Care Ontario has a program to help First Nation Inuit and Métis partners become ‘tobacco-wise,’ by reducing and preventing commercial tobacco addiction. Learn about Cancer Care Ontario’s Aboriginal Tobacco Program here.