Main Page Content

Meeting Document Type: 
Information Report
Smoking Cessation Programing and Vaping Supports


Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Department (CDIP)


January 20, 2022


Smoking Cessation Programing and Vaping Supports


Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are linked to cancer, heart disease, and several other diseases. Locally the burden of premature illness and death caused by smoking remains high in Windsor and Essex County with one in five adults (19.6%) reporting that they currently smoke tobacco.1

In addition to tobacco smoking, the rise of vaping or e-cigarette use, particularly in youth, has been a concern from both health officials and local schools in Windsor-Essex. In Windsor-Essex, 6% of grade 9 to 12 students are current smokers and 26% of students have used an e-cigarette.2 In Ontario, while the rate of past year use of tobacco cigarettes has been declining (from 7% to 5% from 2017-2019), the past year use of e-cigarettes doubled from 11% to 23% in the same period.3  Vaping can expose youth to chemicals that could negatively impact their health in several ways, such as lung damage, nicotine dependence, and negative effects on brain development, including memory and concentration.4 


Tobacco and Vaping Cessation

The health unit has continued to provide eligible Windsor-Essex County residents with individual cessation programming throughout the pandemic, where clients enter the program by self-referral, or by referral from a community partner.  Through a one-on-one cessation program, clients are provided with behavioural counseling sessions and up to 16 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as patches or gum. Follow-up counseling sessions are also provided to active clients for additional support and adjustment of their NRT dosing as needed.

In 2021, 107 new clients were added to the program with nearly 600 counselling sessions completed. Currently, there are 53 active clients enrolled in the program who meet with the counsellor on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to ensure goals are being met, challenges are being addressed, and NRT dosage remains appropriate.

Tobacco and Vaping Prevention with Local School Boards                    

To address rising rates of vaping among youth, the WECHU Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Department and Healthy Schools Department developed a toolkit for educators. This toolkit includes a presentation for high school students, posters, and educational handouts. This toolkit will continue to be promoted to schools and community partners in 2022.

With limitations to in-person school access in 2021, health promotion support related to tobacco and vaping moved to a virtual format. Health unit staff provided virtual trainings for parents and staff as well as smoking and vaping presentation to students led by Tobacco Vaping Enforcement Officers and Healthy Schools Department Public Health Nurses.  Assistance in education and enforcement was also provided by Tobacco and Vaping Enforcement Officers to address concerns of smoking and vaping in and around school property. Ongoing support of these initiatives will continue to be prioritized in the current school year as staffing allows.


  1. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. (2019). Community needs assessment: June 2019 update. Retrieved from   
  2. University of Waterloo. (2018). COMPASS Study data (Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, Sedentary behavior).
  3. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2020). Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Data Brief. Retrieved from
  4. Health Canada. (2020). Risks of vaping. Retrieved from
  5. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2020). Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Data Brief. Retrieved from