Murphy's Hospitality Group Helps Employees Kick the Habit!

14 January 2016

Charlottetown, PE -

Murphy’s Hospitality Group is helping their employees kick the habit!

MHG Photo_PE

At a launch earlier this week, the Murphy Hospitality Group introduced a quit smoking challenge to its employees.
  Ben Murphy of Murphy’s Hospitality said, “
As an employer, we know how important it is to take care of our employees. The health of our staff has a direct link to the health of our business.  When we heard about the Canadian Cancer Society’s program we knew we wanted to get involved.  We are hopeful that through this initiative we can encourage our staff to live healthier lives.”

The Murphy’s Hospitality Group is the first company participating in the Society’s Quit and Win Challenge, an initiative funded by the Department of Health and Wellness. The program is free and offers businesses and organizations customized support and resources to assist their staff in quitting smoking.

We are thrilled that Murphy’s Hospitality Group has decided to accept the challenge.  Staff signed up following the launch and they have committed to going smoke-free on January 18th, with the beginning of National Non-Smoking Week.  “It’s an excellent time for those who have quit to celebrate their successes and for those who smoke to learn how they can quit,” says Lori Barker, Executive Director of the Canadian Cancer Society, PEI Division. 

Mirroring Murphy’s comments, Barker says, “There is significant benefit to an employer in supporting their employees’ efforts to quit smoking.  Employers will see increased productivity as ex-smoking employees are 5% more productive than current smoking employees and, in the long-term, absenteeism decreases as the employee’s health improves.  Most importantly, though, this is a tremendous opportunity for employers to invest in their staff and give them the gift of health, which is priceless.”  She adds, “The Society is here to help any Island employer looking to support its employees in quitting tobacco.  If you would like to learn more about this program, please contact Anja Salijevic,  at 902-566-1713.

A first-time quitter, Kelley Gillis, an employee of Murphy’s Hospitality, says “I decided to take the challenge. I’ve never tried quitting before, but I feel I have nothing to lose.”

The Quit and Win Challenge offers employees support along the way.  In addition to quit-kits that provide tools for coping with cravings and wellness information, employees who take the challenge receive emails with advice and support.  The challenge also encourages staff to find a buddy to be their support person.  “It’s great that employees, like Kelley, are showing such enthusiasm for taking up the challenge.  We know that it’s difficult to quit smoking.  Having support during this time is invaluable,” says Barker.

The Canadian Cancer Society reminds people that quitting isn’t easy.  Barker says, “I tell people to think of a time when there was something they knew they should do, but didn’t.  Ever hit the snooze button a few too many times?  Skip a workout?  Ordered take-out instead of cooking?  Now imagine how you would respond if someone kept nagging you, repeating ‘Don’t you know how unhealthy that is for you?’  These types of comments wouldn’t likely motivate you to change your behaviour, they would only leave you feeling inadequate and guilty.  Many smokers feel the same way when they get nagged to quit.  On top of everything else, they’re dealing with a physical and emotional addiction.”

There are, however, lots of ways that you can positively support friends and loved ones who want to quit smoking.  The Canadian Cancer Society offers the following tips:


  1. Bring up smoking in a non-judgmental way that shows you are genuinely concerned for their well-being. Recognize that quitting is not always an easy thing to do.

    1. Try saying:  “I believe you can do it. I want to help you because I know it’s something you've said you wanted to do.”


  2. Ask how you can help. It will show you care and that you really want to support your friend or loved one.

    1. Try saying: “Quitting smoking is different for everyone so I want to help you find the right way for you.  If you need anything, I'm here for you.”


  3. Show them that you believe in them and that you will be there for the ups and downs.

    1. Try saying: “I know you can do this, even if it takes lots of attempts!  I really admire you for even trying.  I'm here for you, no matter what.”


  4. Encourage them to access free resources proven to help people quit, such as the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline

    1. Try saying: “There is this free service where you can speak to a Quit Coach about tips and to develop a personalized plan. You don't have to quit right away, you can call 1-877-513-5333 or the number on cigarette package to get started.”


About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Photo 1: Left to right: Anja Salijevic of the Canadian Cancer Society, PEI Division, poses with Kelley Gillis and Ben Murphy of Murphy Hospitality Group at the Quit and Win Challenge launch.

For more information:

Julia Pike, Canadian Cancer Society (902) 566-1713 (x2240),

Vanessa Smith, Murphy Group of Restaurants (902) 566-3137,

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.