NEWS

Help line lights up as smokers try to quit

01/05/2012 05:10 EST | Updated 03/06/2012 05:12 EST

Montreal help line "J'arrête" is being flooded with calls from smokers wanting to give up cigarettes as the new year gets underway.

More than 60 people contact the free community resource on any given day, said J'arrête spokeswoman Isabelle Éthier. Since Jan. 1 the phones have been ringing constantly.

"Some of them are making New Year's resolutions," Éthier said. "Some people call us before the holidays to tell us they're planning to quit, but that they will continue to smoke during the holidays because it's a tougher time to stop."

The help line's success rate is about 20 per cent, Éthier said. More than 70,000 people call every year.

Éthier says finding support is key for smokers who want to quit.

According to public health officials, those who try to stop smoking on their own have only a 5 per cent chance of success.

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