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Exceptional University of Ottawa Heart Institute Quit-Smoking Program Offers New Hope for Canadians

by NationTalk on January 23, 20071596 Views

Proven Smoking Cessation Program to Help Hospitals in British Columbia and New Brunswick

Establishes Framework for a National Quit-Smoking Model

OTTAWA – January 22, 2007 – An exceptionally effective smoking cessation program that results in more than 44% of participants remaining smoke-free for 6 months or more is being hailed as a new national model for use across the country. Developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) and supported in part by the Government of Canada, the so-called Ottawa Model will be implemented in two major health districts in the country.

The Ottawa Model is a hospital-based program involving a unique combination of consult and intervention, information, follow-up and feedback. At UOHI, about 1,500 in-patient smokers are identified annually and more than 98% participate in the Heart Institute’s program. Between 30% and 50% each year remain smoke-free for six months or longer. The program is now being replicated in 12 hospitals in the Champlain region of Ontario and is being used to assist all smoking patients, not just those with heart disease.“The Ottawa Model leads to a significant increase in long term cessation rates,” said Dr. Andrew Pipe, director, Prevention & Rehabilitation, UOHI. “Health is improved, more lives are saved, and demands on the health care system are reduced. By assisting other regions to use this proven approach, we hope to help more smokers quit and enhance both their health and the quality of their lives.”

With federal government funding, two regions – River Valley Health (RVH) in New Brunswick and the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in British Columbia – will be the first to adopt and implement the Ottawa Model. In the RVH region, some 23% of the population smoke. In the VCH service area about 16% of the people are smokers. For comparison, about 20% or 24,000 patients admitted to the 12 regional hospitals currently served by the Ottawa Model are smokers.

“As one of the largest health authorities in New Brunswick, this project will provide us with an ability to institutionalize smoking cessation as part of our standard of care,” said Anne Marie Atkinson, Health Promotion and Wellness Consultant, River Valley Health. “The Ottawa Model will contribute to our targets of further reducing our regional smoking rate, reducing hospitalizations and deaths from chronic diseases associated with tobacco use, and promoting a more healthy lifestyle.”

Christina Tonella, Leader, Tobacco Reduction Strategy, Vancouver Coastal Health, said:”In British Columbia, the results of this kind of program will benefit patients and the health care centres in our region. Many patients want to quit smoking when they are hospitalized and welcome specific assistance to help them quit.”

Among its many advantages, the Ottawa Model provides a means of establishing comparable standards and practices across the country, encouraging medical units to collaborate more closely to further cut smoking among Canadians. As well, smoke-free facilities and grounds have made it more important for hospitals to have sensitive, responsive and successful programs to assist smokers.

“The Heart Institute has more than 10 years experience in developing and implementing smoking cessation programs for patients,” said Dr. Pipe. “As the leading cardiovascular care centre in the country, we’re willing to contribute our experience and share our knowledge with anyone, anywhere especially when addressing this important preventive health practice.”

About River Valley Health (RVH)
RVH is the largest geographic health region in New Brunswick, delivering bilingual care and services to close to 170,000 people, including five First Nation communities, in over 20 locations in a geographic area exceeding 23,000 square kilometers. Services are provided through acute care facilities, community health centres, a collaborative health clinic, specialty units, and a wide range of community and home care services. For more information, visit

About Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)
VCH provides a full range of health care services ranging from hospital treatment to communitybased residential, home health, mental health and public health services. VCH provides services to 25% of British Columbia’s population, with 17 regional districts and 15 First Nation communities. VCH delivers care through 14 acute care facilities, 24,500 qualified staff and two diagnostic and treatment centres, over a geographic span of 54,000 square kilometers. For more information, visit

About UOHI
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information, visit

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For further information: Marlene Orton, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, (613) 761-4850; Shelley Fletcher; Director of Communications, River Valley Health, (506) 452-5668; Viviana Zanocco, Senior Media Relations Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health, (604) 612-8053

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