Children, Seniors and Social Development
Health and Community Services
March 21, 2019

Provincial Government Announces Funding for Smoking Cessation Program

The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development, and the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, today announced that the Provincial Government will provide $150,000 to Eastern Health to support a smoking cessation program based on a model developed at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

The program, which is currently in use across the country, allows for consistent identification, documentation, treatment and follow-up of all patients admitted to hospital who are smokers.

A study of nearly 1,400 hospital inpatients who smoke, found that those who received the program were 47 per cent less likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days, 26 per cent less likely to be readmitted over two years, and 48 per cent less likely to die over two years.

The significant reductions in healthcare use led to cost-savings for the healthcare system of $4,100 per patient over two years, for those who participated in the program.

Eastern Health will implement the program at hospitals within its region over the next five years, beginning at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s.

This investment builds on The Way Forward commitment to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“Tobacco dependence often requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit. This smoking cessation program will help encourage and support people to quit so that they can live healthier, more active lives.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

“A program to support smoking cessation is one of the most powerful interventions we have in medicine. Through embedding this proven model directly into health care we can provide more people with the supports needed to successfully quit. An effective smoking cessation model in our system will show benefits almost immediately for individuals, and over the long term within our communities and province.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“This program will provide the tools and supports our patients and clients need to help them quit smoking. Evidence shows that this smoking cessation program has a high success rate and we look forward to working with our partners to reduce smoking prevalence rates and improve health outcomes for our patients.”
Judy O’Keefe
Vice-President, Clinical Services, Eastern Health

“The Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline is pleased to support and continue to partner with Eastern Health as they expand and enhance the work they are doing in the area of smoking cessation. We expect that this important initiative will result in more people accessing effective treatment to help them successfully quit and stay smoke free.”
Mary Lynn Pender
Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association, Smokers’ Helpline

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Learn more
Children, Seniors and Social Development – Tobacco Control

Ottawa Heart Institute’s Model for Smoking Cessation external link icon

Smokers’ Helpline external link icon

The Way Forward

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Media contacts
Gina MacArthur
Children, Seniors and Social Development
709-729-3768, 730-2977

Kathy Dicks-Peyton
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 699-1982

Tracey Boland
Eastern Health

Mary Lynn Pender
Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association

2019 03 21                              12:40 p.m.