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We’re sharing these tips from the Canadian Cancer Society. They’re calling on smokers to try something ridiculous in their bid to get – and stay – smoke-free this New Year.

1. Quit. A lot. 

It can take a lot of tries to stay quit for good – so try frequently until you quit for good. For help with that, join Smokers’ Helpline’s monthly First Week Challenge Contest at and you could win $500 by staying quit for just one week.

Notebook that reads "Quit smoking, quit smoking, quit smoking"

2. Celebrate your failures.

Each time you try to quit, you learn more about what works for you and what pitfalls to avoid. So celebrate learning something new for the next time you try to quit.

3. Talk to strangers.

You aren’t the first person to quit smoking, and you won’t be the last, but maybe your friends and family don’t really get it. Smokers’ Helpline Online has an anonymous community where you can talk to other quitters, get support and ask the questions you might think are stupid, but really aren’t stupid at all. Or you can call a quit coach – they may be strangers, but they’re really nice, won’t judge and they’re super helpful!

Making a cell phone call on a bus

4. Make excuses.

Somebody is going to ask you out for a smoke break, or you’re going to get that after-lunch craving. What are you going to do? Start making excuses now so that you have one ready when you need it. And for those stressful situations you can’t excuse yourself from, you can talk to a Smokers’ Helpline Quit Coach to make plans to get through them instead – call toll-free: 1-877-513-5333.

5. Overshare.

Tell everybody you’re quitting. Post it on Facebook, tell that guy you buy your coffee from – everybody. Public pledges help keep you accountable and allow your friends to support you when you need it.

6. Take up drinking…

…water, not alcohol. Drinking more water, especially early on, will help during cravings and will speed up the removal of nicotine and other stuff from your system. And yeah, even if quitting is driving you to drink, try to lay off the booze – it’s a pretty common reason people fall off the quit-wagon.

man drinking water outside

7. Take a hike.

Bundle up, get your boots on, and head outside. Exercise, like walking or running, can help you stay smoke-free and reduce common side effects (like weight gain). If you’ve never been a walker, let alone a runner, you can learn to run and get support while you quit smoking with the Run to Quit program (and maybe win a car). Register at

8. Stop planning to quit.

Jumping in with 2 feet and quitting right now can provide more insight than endlessly planning and putting off actually quitting. You learn by doing, and by trying to quit at least once, you’ll have more information to plan for the next time and it may be less daunting because you’ve already done it before. As always, if you like to plan, plan away, it can only prepare you!

9. Use nicotine…

… from Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. They work by bringing down your daily dose of nicotine bit by bit without the other effects of tobacco. It’s a method that can more than double your chances of long-term success, and works with the other tips in this list, too. You can talk to your doctor or pharmacist or call Smokers’ Helpline for free at 1-877-513-5333 to speak to a trained Quit Coach for more information.  If you use NRT and you call Smokers’ Helpline, you’ll triple your chance of making your quit stick.


The temperature is about to drop. This weekend, overnight temperatures may be low enough for Environment Canada to issue an extreme cold weather warning for our area. At these extreme temperatures, exposed skin can become frostbitten in minutes. Prolonged exposure can result in hypothermia.

Protect yourself from the cold this winter by taking some important precautions, including:

  • Covering exposed skin and dressing in appropriate clothing – layers with a wind-resistant outer layer
  • Keeping yourself dry – you lose heat faster when you’re wet
  • Paying attention to weather forecasts in your area
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Taking extra precautions with those more vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia – for example, infants, young children, the elderly and those with medical conditions

Get the latest weather alerts from Environment Canada. For more detailed information, visit Health Canada’s extreme cold web page

father and son in snowstorm

Public Health will continue to provide key services related to disease control, public health emergencies and some parenting support services in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph during the holidays; however, all offices are closed to the public from December 26 to December 30. Full services will resume on Monday, January 2.

Well water samples

The last date to drop off well water samples for testing is Thursday December 22 at 11 a.m. Water samples will be accepted again with regular hours starting on January 2, 2017.

Breastfeeding support

Public health nurses on KIDS LINE are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from December 19-23, 2016 and again starting on January 2. See Breastfeeding Support During the Holidays (PDF, 2 pages) for more information about services available during this time.

Vaccine orders

For physicians and primary care providers, vaccine orders placed by Thursday, December 15 will be ready for pick-up or delivery on Wednesday, December 21.  Orders placed by Wednesday, December 28 will be ready for pick-up or delivery on Thursday, January 5. Refer to the Physician Advisory (PDF) for details. 

Happy holidays

The Wee Talk parent orientation session scheduled for 1 p.m. in Orangeville today has been cancelled due to weather conditions.

Questions? Call KIDS LINE at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616.

girl in snow