Walk or Run to Quit Gave Freedom to Nicole from Smoking

Run, Walk, Quit Smoking
Run, Walk, Quit Smoking

Nicole Dupuis is smoke-free and preparing to run her first 10km race up a mountain…

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – A proven program called, “Walk or Run to Quit” has made it possible for Nicole Dupuis to live a smoke-free life and train to run a 10km race up a mountain. The program, available across Canada, helps participants replace smoking with a healthier activity: learning to walk or run 5K. Research has found that becoming physically active increases a person’s chances of quitting since exercise helps curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The Thunder Bay program opens on April 17 at 6:30 pm at the Running Room on Main Street.

Nicole’s life changed last year when she decided to quit smoking and become more active. A smoker for over 10 years, Nicole made the commitment to quit when she signed up for a program that combines the know-how of the Canadian Cancer Society and the walking/ running expertise of the Running Room with partial funding support of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Notable facts:

  • It takes the average smoker multiple attempts before finally quitting
  • In 2017 over half of the participants interviewed reported being non-smokers six months after completing the training program
  • Participants also continue to run, on average, three times a week

Nicole says it was about finding the right way to quit and now that she’s been smoke-free for over a year she’s preparing to run her first 10km race up a mountain. “I would never have imagined I’d be this active and training to run a race like this, but the program has allowed me to become more physically active.” Nicole continues, “Once I started running I didn’t want to fill my lungs up with smoke anymore. I’m happy to choose to run 5km’s instead, and training to run my first 10km race this summer is the perfect milestone.”

“We were happy to see that participants really embraced exercise,” says Karen Kuzmich, Senior Coordinator Walk or Run to Quit, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario. “Along with a 10-week walk or run plan, participants are provided with evidence-based quit smoking resources including a smokers’ guidebook and support from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline.”  To reach as many smokers as possible, the weekly coach-led program has expanded in 2018 to be available in 100 Running Room locations across Canada in addition to the virtual training option which allows participants to do the program at their own schedule no matter where they live.

Locally the 10-week training program will be held:

  • Thunder Bay: Tuesday, April 17 at 6:30 pm
  • Virtual Training: starts April 16 across the country

Registration for Walk or Run to Quit is now open and available in all provinces across Canada. To register or learn more, visit runtoquit.com.

Walk or Run to Quit is funded in part by the Public Health Agency of Canada.