June 21, 2010 08:00 ET

Smober Up™ Together Canada!

New Interactive Community Supports Canadians' Commitment to Become Smoke-Free

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) -

Editors Note: There are 2 video included with this Press Release.

Many Canadians want to quit smoking but struggle to become smoke-free. In fact, a recent Angus Reid Public Opinion survey for NICORETTE® indicated three-quarter of smokers (75 per cent) have tried to quit more than once and failed. Now, SMOBER UP™,  an interactive community, is helping Canadians commit to becoming smoke-free, or 'smober,' by encouraging them to lean on each other for support and encouragement throughout their quit-smoking journey.

A series of webisodes will document the personal and emotional quit-journeys of eight Canadian smokers, highlighting their challenges and successes along the way. The webisodes will premiere on the SMOBER UP™ YouTube channel on June 21 and document everything from each smoker's initial decision to quit smoking to reactions from their family and friends.

"People don't understand why quitting can be so difficult," said Kathleen, one of smokers featured in the series. "Smoking becomes a part of your life and your routine, so making the decision to quit – and sticking with it – it's easier said than done. I want to share my story because this is about more than just overcoming a physical addiction. It's also about giving up an emotional attachment and, in a much bigger way, taking control of your life."

Quit, Support and Follow

Canadians who are thinking about quitting or who are ready to make the commitment to quit can get involved with the SMOBER UP™ community by following the webisodes on YouTube or Facebook, or by supporting the quit-journeys of other smokers by sharing their own quit stories via Facebook. Canadians can also get involved by entering the SMOBER UP™ YouTube contest to be eligible to win one of sixty NICORETTE® Quit Kits valued at $300 CDN. To enter, Canadians can create a YouTube video highlighting their reasons to quit smoking and post it online at

Ray Zahab, host of the SMOBER UP™ webisodes, ultramarathoner and a former pack-a-day smoker made the decision to quit in the late 1990's with the goal of quitting on New Year's Day 2000. He knows how difficult it is to quit smoking, and the struggle involved in becoming smoke-free.

"Whether it's reducing the number of cigarettes each day or quitting altogether, making the commitment to being smoke-free is never easy," says Zahab. "I've been there and I know how it feels to want to quit. Quitting isn't a single big choice you make – it's a lot of little choices you make every time you decide not to light up. Taking control of one's health by quitting smoking isn't an easy decision, but a powerful one that can change the way you feel about yourself and life. That's why having the support of the SMOBER UP™ community can help smokers find the willpower to achieve their goals. They have an entire community supporting them every step of the way!"

Challenges and successes…by the numbers

Survey results show that smokers believe lighting up has had a variety of negative impact on various aspects of their life – including their health (48 per cent), fitness (46 per cent) and finances (37 percent). While 85 per cent of smokers say they want to quit smoking, surprisingly, only one-third (32 per cent) believe they will be successful.

"As much as I want to quit smoking, it just isn't that simple," said Fraser, another of the smokers featured in the webisodes. "The hardest part is that despite knowing that the people who love you want you to quit and that you want to quit yourself, something keeps sucking you into lighting up one more time. It's tough because you feel like you're disappointing a lot of people, including yourself, if you give in to temptation."

The most popular method smokers are willing to try is nicotine replacement therapies (50 per cent), followed by prescription medication (46 per cent) and alternative therapies (42 per cent). The good news is there are more options than ever to help smokers to control their cravings including the NICORETTE® Patch, Inhaler, Gum and Lozenge. Smokers can also use the NICORETTE® 16 hour Patch and NICORETTE® Gum 2mg together - the only products approved for use in combination – to maximize their chances of quitting versus using either product alone.

Survey Methodology

From February 2nd to February 3rd, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion, the public affairs practice at Vision Critical, conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative of region, sample of 1,005 adult Canadian Smokers who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current region Census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare products

NICORETTE® is marketed and distributed in Canada by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare markets a broad range of well-known over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe. 

To view the videos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

Contact Information

  • For more information about the survey results, the
    SMOBER UP(TM) community, or to arrange an interview with Ray
    Zahab, please contact: Edelman
    Riddhi Gandhi
    416-979-1120 ext. 295
    Jennifer Dolan
    416-979-1120 ext. 257
    Johnson & Johnson Inc.
    Tina Peyregatt