The Canadian Cancer Society invites you to run, quit and win! With the Run to Quit program, smokers’ chances of butting out are seven times higher

20 March 2016

Montreal -

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) wants Quebecers to run, quit and win this spring! In partnership with the Running Room and the federal government, the CCS is offering the innovative Run to Quit program, which is an effective new way to quit smoking by integrating running or walking into smoking cessation.

The Run to Quit program is based on an innovative approach that significantly increases the success rate of quitting smoking while improving participants’ general state of health. It has been shown that physical activity can reduce cravings, withdrawal symptoms, negative moods and weight gain. Being active also helps reduce the risk of a relapse by increasing participants’ capacity for adaptation and self-esteem.

The program receives funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and is meant for everyone, no matter what their level of fitness. “By participating in Run to Quit, a smoker multiples by seven the chances of staying smoke-free six months after registering for the program. In Quebec, nearly 20% of people aged 12 and above smoke – that’s nearly 1.4 million Quebecers,” says Dominique Claveau, Program Manager at the Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division. “It’s important to support these people and find ways to help them break their tobacco addiction permanently.”

To offer the greatest convenience and flexibility, three options are available to smokers:

  1. Commit to quit (free) – Some smokers prefer to quit on their own. They are motivated by the prizes that they may be able to win and especially their commitment to taking part in a 5km walk/run by July 31, 2016. By registering, these participants have free access to some support resources.
  2. In-store training program ($69.99 + taxes) – This package includes 10 weekly group sessions based on a standard program to quit smoking and develop endurance. Participants also train with the goal of taking part in a 5km walk/run by July 31, 2016.
  3. Virtual training program ($49.99 + taxes) – Smokers who register for this option receive 10 weekly emails and audio instruction files to quit smoking. Everything is personalized to fit their schedule and based on a standard program to quit smoking and develop endurance. Participants also commit to taking part in a 5km walk/run by July 31, 2016.

Whatever the program chosen, participants stand the chance of winning a car (estimated value of $25,000) or one of 5 cash prizes of $1,000. “No matter what the program chosen by the smoker, they’re bound to win because they’ll be free of a costly addiction on all fronts,” adds Ms Claveau.

Smokers who are interested can register for the Run to Quit program until April 23, 2016 on www.runtoquit.com or by phone at 1 866 587-7383 (Ligne j’Arrête quit line). Non-smokers can help a member of their family or a friend to quit by joining them in the program.

The CCS reminds people that it offers other smoking cessation programs for all types of smokers:

  • The Ligne j’Arrête 1 866 JARRETE (527-7383), a smoker’s helpline that has been used by more than 105,000 people since 2002 to quit smoking, prepare for it, help a loved one or obtain information. Smokers receive free and confidential support and advice adapted to their situation and needs.
  • The SMAT (Short Messages Against Tobacco) program makes use of a cell phone to reach youth aged between 18 and 35. For 24 weeks, smokers who are registered receive text messages with tips, information and encouragement to support them in staying smoke-free. Free registration: SMAT.ca.
About the Canadian Cancer Society

With the support of 300,000 annual donors and 30,000 volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the Quebec cancer charity with the potential to save the most lives. Each year, some 135,000 Quebecers turn to it. So, the CCS does everything it can to increase the overall cancer survival rate, which is currently 63%, to 80%.

The money raised by the CCS helps:

  • prevent more cancers and demand laws that protect health;
  • fund more research projects;
  • support more people living with cancer.

Let’s save more lives. Visit cancer.ca or call us at 1 888 939-3333.

Cancer and tobacco: the facts
  • Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing at least 18 types of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, stomach, pancreatic and kidney cancers.
  • Lung cancer is the main cause of cancer mortality both in men and women. Nearly a third of all cancer deaths in Quebec, that is, 31% (27% in Canada), are due to this type of cancer.
  • Around 85% of lung cancer cases in Canada are due to smoking and smokers shorten their lives by eight to ten years.
  • In 2015, an estimated 8,300 Quebecers will be diagnosed with lung cancer and around 6,500 of them will die from this type of cancer.
  • In Quebec, lung cancer kills twice as many women as breast cancer and four times as many men as prostate cancer.
  • In the case of lung cancer, its five year survival rate is only 17%.

For more information, please contact:

André Beaulieu

Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Quebec Division

Phone: (514) 393-3444