Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Welcome, Sign In
About STOP

STOP Program Basics 

1.   Over 100,000 smokers from across Ontario have been engaged in quitting smoking 

2.   STOP reduces financial barriers to quitting smoking by providing free cessation treatment. The high level of participation by smokers with limited income shows that many people will begin the quit process if treatment is made affordable 

3.   Program enrollment and distribution methods do not exclusively rely on healthcare provider organizations in urban areas. This has increased equality of access to cessation treatment in under-serviced rural and sparsely populated regions

About the STOP Program

The overall purpose of the STOP Program is to help reduce smoking in Ontario. To do this, STOP works toward two main goals: (1) increase access to smoking cessation aids for Ontario smokers who want to quit, and (2) enhance capacity in health care settings to deliver comprehensive smoking cessation treatment to patients.


STOP evaluates the effectiveness of different ways of linking smokers across Ontario with cessation aids. Increasing access to cessation aids means reducing the barriers to cessation medications and counselling support. Treatment is delivered through our partners or directly to smokers. Since 2005, over 100,000 smokers from across Ontario have received free treatment through the STOP Program.


STOP has studied twelve different ways of distributing free cessation medication combined with varying levels of counselling support – ten using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and two using prescription medications for smoking cessation - bupropion (Zyban®) and varenicline (Champix®). Our research will inform the development of policies and future smoking cessation programs.


Impact on Greater Public Health

The study will identify the best way to deliver effective smoking cessation treatment to large numbers of smokers. Based on this knowledge healthcare policies can be modeled to help a substantial number of smokers to quit. The rate of smoking in Ontario has steadily declined over the past 30 years, but smoking remains a primary cause of mortality and morbidity with 18% of the general population still smoking.


Nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion (Zyban®) and varenicline (Champix®) are clinically proven medications that can double the chances of success in quitting smoking. However, survey results indicate that less than half of those who attempt to quit smoking use any of these medications.


Wide-scale distribution of these evidence-based clinical interventions has the potential to greatly reduce the prevalence of smoking.



Program Funding and Team

The STOP Program is lead by scientists and smoking cessation specialists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario. The team is lead by Dr. Peter Selby, a physician and researcher at CAMH.


The STOP Program is supported by funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Health Promotion Division.

puzzle istock.jpg