questions and answers

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Here we answer some of the frequently-asked questions that we get at The Smokers’ Helpline. If you don’t see the answer to your question, connect with us!  Call 1-800-363-5864 or connect with us through the Online Chat on this site.  We’re happy to answer any question you may have about quitting smoking.
Health Canada states: Vaping is less harmful than smoking. Many of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and the tobacco smoke form when tobacco is burned. Vaping products do not contain tobacco and do not involve burning or produce smoke. Except for nicotine, vaping products typically only contain a fraction of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco or tobacco smoke, and at lower levels. Vaping products and e-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a less harmful way than smoking, and may reduce health risks for smokers who are unwilling or unable to: While evidence is still emerging, some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to improved rates of success when quitting. Studies have shown short-term general health improvements in those who have completely switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping products. From Health Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/smoking-tobacco/vaping.html
There are several alternative therapies people may consider using to aid in smoking cessation. These include acupuncture, hypnosis and laser treatment. Quitting smoking is an individual process; while some smokers achieve success through the use of these treatments, there is limited scientific evidence to show that these increase your chance of success. If individuals are interested in alternative treatments, the Smokers’ Helpline encourages them to consider all options and make the decision that is right for them.

Whether you call, email, text or connect with us online, our main goal is to answer any questions you may have about quitting smoking and help you create your own personalized plan to quit and stay smokefree. If you just have a quick question, that’s fine. There’s no obligation when you call. And there’s never any pressure to quit right away. We understand it’s an addiction and it’s important to create a plan and get support.

We’re happy to provide information and support in any area related to quitting smoking that’s important to you! Some of the common topics we talk about with clients include: managing cravings/withdrawal, setting small goals, reducing your smoking, managing stress, and incorporating physical activity and healthy eating.

In the first call to the Helpline, in addition to answering your questions we may also ask you about your smoking history (such as what you have tried before and your routines around smoking), along with a few standard demographic questions. All of the information you share with us is completely confidential and we follow the Newfoundland and Labrador Personal Health Information Act.

We’ll review the various services that are available (for ex. email & text programs, financial supports to help with the cost of smoking cessation medications for low-income individuals). If you’re interested, we’ll even offer to provide up to 6-12 follow-up calls (scheduled every 1-2 weeks) to check in and provide further tips and support if needed. It’s complete up to you if you’d like to have these follow-up calls, there’s no obligation at all.

The Helpline will also refer to other quit-smoking programs and services that may be available in the various regions of the province. If there’s something specific happening in your region (such as a quit-smoking group program), we’ll let you know!

We’re happy to provide assistance to all individuals from within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Helpline is not only for people who smoke. We regularly receive calls from others in the community as well, including health professionals, family/friends of people who smoke, workplaces, students and teachers. All of the Helpline quit-smoking services are completely free.
Studies show that more people are successful in quitting smoking when they receive support from a healthcare provider or from the Smokers’ Helpline, along with using a smoking cessation medication (such as nicotine replacement, Champix or Zyban). This combination of counseling plus medication has been found to be the most effective approach. For example, studies of different Smokers’ Helplines have found quit rates from 12 to 26% (number of individual who had been smokefree for 30 days when contacted 7 months after the initial call to the Helpline). It is generally accepted that Helplines are effective since the number of Helpline clients who quit smoking successfully (12 to 26%) is much higher than the quit rate in the general population (among individuals who smoke) of 8%. When counseling (from the Helpline or from a healthcare provider) is combined with use of a quit-smoking product or medication, quit rates are boosted up to 40% or more. We understand that everyone is different, and what is helpful for 1 person may not be helpful for another. However, in general, the Helpline provides valuable information and support that enables individuals to feel more prepared, confident and motivated to move forward with living smokefree.

If you don’t feel ready to quit completely, reducing the number of cigarettes that you’re smoking each day can be a great first step. Cutting back may reduce your risks of developing a smoking-related illness.

Keep in mind there’s no safe level of smoking. Even a few cigarettes per day can increase your risk. The very best thing you can do for your health is to quit completely and stay smokefree. The Smokers’ Helpline can support you with that! Click for tips on reducing your smoking.

Didn’t find your question? Connect with the Helpline: Call 1-800-363-5864, Text 709-700-7002 or Type your question in the Online Chat.

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