Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome to Four Weeks of Awareness and Hope - Week 1

Four Weeks of Awareness and Hope is a positive campaign held each November to share information and resources about addiction. We all want to live in healthy communities! Contributing to healthier attitudes, policies and behaviours related to the use of tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and gambling is an important part of improving the health of Nova Scotians.

The grand finale of our month of awareness raising will take place on Nov. 30 with our participation in the Atlantic Minds Wide Open Film Festival, where we'll share some Stories of Hope about individuals whose lives have been affected by addiction and recovery. Learn more about this important event and purchase your tickets today!

**Week 1 Focus - Tobacco Use

What Smoking Costs Us - According to the report Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends (2011):
- nearly five million Canadians currently smoke, and up to half of them will become ill or die from continued tobacco use
- tobacco is a leading preventable cause of death in Canada, responsible for over 37,000 deaths annually and about one third of cancers
- the economic impact of tobacco use in Canada is also significant, with an estimated social cost of $17 billion per year
- the most recent estimates indicate that tobacco-related illness costs Canadians $4.4 billion in direct health care costs
- tobacco use is responsible for 2.2 million acute care hospital days

Read the full report:

Did you know? We are making progress in reducing tobacco use. Nova Scotia now leads Canada in keeping youth smoke-free. In 1999, Nova Scotia's youth smoking rate was 30 per cent. Through smoking reduction efforts like the Smoke-Free Places Act, tax increases and public awareness campaigns, the number dropped to 14 per cent by 2008. Since then, youth smoking rates have leveled off at 15 per cent.

Thinking about stopping? APTS offers free Stop Smoking Services! Free nicotine replacement therapies are also available. Attend one of our upcoming Getting Started Sessions to learn how we can support you in reaching your goals! Our Getting Started Schedule is available online at

Would you like to try to stop on your own? APTS offers a free self-help stop smoking workbook, available on our website. Just click on the last link on the Stop Smoking Services page. Click the following link and scroll down to "Tobacco Intervention Workbook."

How can you help end addiction stigma?

1. Check out and share our "Get Help Stopping" films at

2. "Like" our facebook page! It's a great place to access positive information and messages about addiction-related events, research, treatment and supports!

3. Encourage people to get the help they need! There are a variety of self-help and assessment tools at and individuals may contact our Central Intake Service (424-8866 / toll free 1-866-340-6700) to explore programs and services. Our service operates 8:30 am-8:30 pm on Mondays and 8:30 am-4:30 pm Tuesday-Friday.