Top News

P.E.I. Smoking Cessation Program helps Islanders quit

Stephenville's Bill Boland is trying to quit smoking full-time for the first time in 50 years.
The P.E.I. Smoking Cessation Program has assisted over 1,700 Islanders in quitting smoking or using tobacco products over the last year. - 123RF Stock Photo

The P.E.I. Smoking Cessation Program has assisted over 1,700 Islanders in quitting smoking or using tobacco products over the last year. 

The program offers Islanders who are ready to quit using tobacco with a minimum of 12 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum, lozenges, patches and inhaler or specific cessation medications.

One of the Islanders who has quit successfully with the assistance of the program is Diane Clark of Augustine Cove. 

She was just 15 years old when she started smoking cigarettes to fit in with her friends. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but 47 years later, she couldn’t quit the habit, and by last winter, Diane and her husband were each smoking a full pack a day. 

Early in 2020, Diane and her husband met with a nurse to begin the Smoking Cessation Program, and they will soon celebrate a full year of being tobacco-free.

“If you’re trying to quit, take advantage of the smoking cessation program that is here to help,” says Clark. “Don’t give up, because quitting is worth it.”

It is encouraging to see so many Islanders participate in the program within its first year, said provincial tobacco control co-ordinator Laura MacDonald. 

“Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of illness and death in Prince Edward Island and we are able to assist Islanders in taking the first step towards quitting and becoming their healthiest self.” 

The Smoking Cessation Program was introduced by the Chief Public Health Office in December 2019. An evaluation was done on the program in October 2020 to find out if there are ways to make it even more effective in helping people quit using tobacco. Results are expected this May. 

Health and Wellness James Aylward said that as the province recognizes National Non-Smoking Week from January 17 to 21, more Islanders are encouraged to reach out for assistance.”

“Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, but with the assistance of our smoking cessation program we are offering additional support to Islanders who are ready to quit and improve their health and wellness.

“By offering the program through primary care networks across the province, we are ensuring it is accessible for Islanders no matter where they live. I am very pleased to see the uptake this year and throughout the pandemic.

For more information, including a list of locations to access the program, visit

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories