FREDERICTON (GNB) – To help offset costs associated with an anticipated increase in the number of calls to the toll-free Smokers' Help Line, the federal government has provided an additional $100,000 to New Brunswick for the next four years.

"New Brunswick is pleased to be collaborating with the federal government and with other provinces and territories on this important initiative," said Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living Minister Trevor Holder. "We know from trends in other jurisdictions that this effort will increase the use of the Smokers’ Help Line. This service ensures that at any time, smokers have direct access to support that can help them quit. The link to this support will literally be in every smoker's pocket or purse.”

A French and English “Canadian phone number” will start appearing on cigarette packages over the coming months and will automatically connect New Brunswick callers to the province’s Smokers' Helpline service. In New Brunswick, this service is delivered in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society.

"By partnering with the provincial government to provide the Smokers' Helpline, we are able to provide a valuable service to New Brunswickers looking to quit smoking," said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, chief executive officer of the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick. "Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and tobacco is responsible for 30 per cent of cancer deaths. One of the best things you can do for your health is stop smoking."

Increasing the use of the Smokers’ Help Line is expected to increase the number of people who quit smoking in New Brunswick.

A comprehensive approach to addressing the negative effects of smoking includes acting to prevent tobacco use, helping people stop, and protecting people from tobacco smoke.

"Through the provincial Wellness Strategy, we are helping to raise awareness about how tobacco use negatively affects overall health," said Holder. "Smoking cessation supports are one means to support tobacco-free living. It is encouraging to see additional programs and investments like this one come on-line."