STOP: Smoking Cessation Program
As of February 2014, the London InterCommunity Health Centre is a registered site of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)’s STOP Program. This program is a province-wide initiative that delivers smoking cessation treatment and counseling support to eligible Ontario smokers who wish to quit smoking.
Since it began in 2005, the STOP Program has provided free smoking cessation medication and counselling support to over 100,000 Ontarians who wanted to quit smoking. To learn more about STOP, please visit the official website at: www.nicotinedependenceclinic.com.
At the Health Centre, this is a program available for registered medical clients only as it requires the involvement of a physician and/or a nurse practitioner. In addition to receiving Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) clients receive counselling and other supports and participate in a number of surveys with the Centre for Addition and Mental Health about their progress.
For those who are interesting in stopping smoking but are not registered medical clients of the Health Centre, smoking cessation counselling and referrals to smoking cessation programs in the community can be offered. Ask your health care provider for more information about this program.
The multiple, often catastrophic, adverse effects of smoking are well known. All patients who smoke should be encouraged to quit and offered support for quitting on every encounter with a health care provider. In most cases, helping patients to quit smoking will be the single most effective health intervention that health care providers can provide.
Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.
What is Tobacco
The nicotine in tobacco smoke travels quickly to the brain, where it acts as a stimulant and increases heart rate and breathing. Tobacco smoke also reduces the level of oxygen in the bloodstream, causing a drop in skin temperature. People new to smoking often experience dizziness, nausea and coughing or gagging.
The mood-altering effects of nicotine are subtle, complex and powerful. Some people feel that smoking helps them to be alert and to concentrate, and also that it helps them to feel relaxed. Smoking raises levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which increases feelings of pleasure and reinforces the desire to continue to smoke.