Algoma Public Health


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Congratulations, you're deciding to quit smoking. It's a big step to a healthier life. Quitting is not easy; take it one step at a time. No matter how long you've smoked, your health will improve when you quit. Your body will start to reverse some of the damage done by smoking.


When you stop smoking, within:

  • 20 minutes - your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
  • 2 days - your sense of smell and taste being to return
  • 1 year - your risk of smoking-related heart disease or stroke is cut by one-half
  • 5 years - your risk of heart disease is the same as someone who never smoked
  • 10 years - your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half


Quitting smoking often takes practice. Many people relapse/start smoking again in the first few weeks or months after quitting. Don't be discouraged, it often takes a few tries to quit for good. With every attempt you quit, you gain coping skills to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and triggers.


What is the single best thing you can do to quit smoking?


Where to go for help

There are many ways to break the smoking habit. Some people can stop smoking without any help at all but nicotine is a very addictive substance and this technique does not work for everyone. Some smokers may find it easier to quit gradually, others might find individual counselling programs helpful while others may benefit from group support programs. Algoma Public Health offers Tobacco Cessation Clinics which provide personalized support as you begin your journey towards becoming and remaining smoke-free.

Call to schedule an appointment 705-942-4646 .

Help is also available through the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline which offers advice, information and support by phone at 1-877-513-5333 or online at the Smokers Helpline.

There are several Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner Clinics and Indigenous Health Access Centres in Ontario that offer cessation counseling and supports to their rostered clients. Check with your healthcare provider to see if these services are available on site.

There are also several products available over-the-counter, designed to help you quit smoking. Most involve nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as patches, inhalers, lozenges, mist and gum. These work by replacing a portion of the nicotine in your cigarettes so that your withdrawal symptoms are minimized. In addition to NRT speak with your Healthcare provider or pharmacist about other medications which may be helpful for you to quit smoking.

The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit offers an innovative opportunity for individuals considering quitting to be part of a voluntary online panel to receive information about special studies that you can take part in as well as the latest information about services and products to help people quit smoking. This opportunity is available online.


What is spit tobacco? (Also known as chew tobacco or smokeless tobacco).

Spit tobacco is a mixture of tobacco, nicotine, sweeteners, salts and chemicals. Spit tobacco has over 3,000 chemicals, including 28 known carcinogens. Spit tobacco is not a safe substitute for cigarettes and can harm your health in many ways.


Quitting smokeless tobacco is a lot like quitting smoking, they have the same symptoms of nicotine withdrawals as smokers. Many of the ways to quit are the same. However, smokeless tobacco users often have a stronger need to have something in their mouth (an oral substitute) to take the place of chewing tobacco or snuff. Using substitutes, like sugarless chewing gum or candy, coffee stirrers or straws, can help.


Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: Aug 17, 2016