CancerCare Manitoba
News Item

January 21, 2015

Time to Quit! Better Yet, Don't Start!

CancerCare Manitoba's Encourages All to Butt Out and Stop Smoking on Weedless Wednesday

While any day is a good day to quit smoking, CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) encourages all Manitobans who smoke tobacco products to butt out and breathe in fresher air today, Weedless Wednesday, as part of National Non-Smoking Week.

The provincial cancer agency points out that smoking is the number one preventable cause of cancer. Research has directly linked tobacco smoke to four out of five cases of lung cancer. Research has also shown a direct link between smoking and other cancers, including those of the breast, head and neck, and esophagus. About 37,000 people die in Canada each year from disease related to smoking cigarettes.

"I cannot urge anyone who smokes to quit soon enough," said CCMB President & CEO Dr. Sri Navaratnam, who is also an oncologist who cares for lung cancer patients. "Quitting today has immediate health benefits, and each smoke free day helps erase the negative effect of smoking."

CCMB recognizes that quitting smoking is not easy, and launched a smoking cessation program for patients struggling with smoking. Over 300 participants - a mix of patients and their family members - have joined the program. A positive benefit of the CCMB program is as some patients join, their family members do as well, so there is support for a smoke free household.

For those who don't smoke, support your local 'quitter' and best of all, don't start.

"Smoking and youth are a particular concern, as youth can be introduced to smoking in seemingly less harmful ways, such as electronic cigarettes," continued Dr. Navaratnam. "Early research shows even young adults who don?t smoke have used e-cigarettes, and the change to actual tobacco use is often not far off."

Approximately 18% of Manitobans use tobacco. Amongst youth, approximately 12% are smokers, with 3% having used smokeless tobacco within the last month.

Click here to view news release.

For more information contact:
Jackie Shymanski
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
CancerCare Manitoba
204-330-6575 or

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