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Run to Quit coming to Charlottetown

Smoking cessation program goes nationwide

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Jan. 14, 2017

CHARLOTTETOWN – Quitting smoking is about to have a few more benefits in Charlottetown.
Run to Quit, a national smoking cessation program offered by the Canadian Cancer Society, is setting up shop on Prince Edward Island after a successful trial period in other provinces last year.
“Ultimately, people are more likely to quit smoking if they are combining it with counseling and an exercise component as well,” said Nicole Mountain, Run to Quit coordinator for the cancer society’s P.E.I. division. “If they run and walk, they’re going to have more success.”

A successful participant completes last year's Run to Quit program.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Cancer Society

The program is offered in three different streams: in-store, virtual, and do-it-yourself. The in-store option, which is administered across Canada by The Running Room stores, will begin in Charlottetown on April 27. Registration is not yet open.
The virtual and do-it-yourself options, however, can be started anytime. More information is available on the website here.
Run to Quit provides a training program complete with support from the Running Room and experts to help the participant quit smoking. The Running Room provides a leader to provide step-by-step guidance to walking or running a 5 km race.
The Running Room leaders are also trained by the Canadian Cancer Society to assist with smoking cessation, while telephone support is also available from the National Quit Smoking Line.
Mountain believes the program will be a success on the island because of the different ways people can do it.
“On P.E.I. the different streams might work better than elsewhere because of our size,” she explained. “It might be easy for someone to do it themselves from home rather than have to go to Charlottetown everyday. I think there will be a lot of success with the virtual and do-it-yourself streams, but I think in-store will go well too, especially with The Running Room helping with promotion.”
The do-it-yourself option has resources available to help quit smoking, as well as the National Quit Smoking Line, but not the in-store support from The Running Room.
Mountain is hoping for at least 15 registrations for the in-store and virtual streams, and at least 100 for the do-it-yourself stream. Costs vary depending on which option the person chooses, although there is even a free option available.
Those who complete the program and a 5K race will be eligible for national prizes, including a Honda Civic, or one of 13 cash prizes valued up to $16,000.
All three options are available in every province in the country, and are held in fall, winter and spring, except for the in-store program, which is only offered in the spring. Both the in-store and virtual options are 10-week programs. The in-store option in Nova Scotia is administered by the Running Room in Halifax, while in New Brunswick it will be handled by the Fredericton and Moncton stores.