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Ontario Lung Association calls to abolish the word “habit”

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Ontario Lung Association calls to abolish the word “habit”
Today, the Ontario Lung Association is calling for a new type of ban when it comes to smoking - a ban on the word “habit” - to combat the attitude that smoking is simply a matter of choice and to increase understanding of the true nature of smoking: a serious addiction.

Cornwall - May. 26, 2011 - Today, the Ontario Lung Association is calling for a new type of ban when it comes to smoking - a ban on the word “habit” - to combat the attitude that smoking is simply a matter of choice and to increase understanding of the true nature of smoking: a serious addiction.

“Too many Ontarians believe smoking is a habit, implying it is something easily overcome with willpower alone, not acknowledging how addictive nicotine is and why it is so difficult for people to quit,” said George Habib, president and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association. “That’s why the Ontario Lung Association is calling today on media, government and the public to abolish the word “habit” and recognize smoking as the powerful addiction it is.”

Approximately two million people in Ontario still smoke and at least half of them have tried to quit in the past year without success.

On average, smokers attempt to quit five times before achieving success and only between five and 10 per cent of smokers manage to successfully quit cold turkey. While organizations like the Ontario Lung Association have resources to help smokers quit, clearly more needs to be done.

Smoke-Free Ontario legislation to date has made significant limitations on exposure to second-hand smoke, but it has not yet addressed the fact that people are addicted to nicotine.

Aside from the astounding human cost of tobacco, Ontario’s annual healthcare bill is a staggering $6.1 billion, with another $4.4 billion in productivity costs from sick days each year.


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