Northwestern Ontario Testimonials from Those Affected by Smoking

NWQuit Media Launch

Photo (From L-R): Kim Bordignon, a Hospital staff member who spoke about her experience with quitting smoking, Kelly-Jo Gillis, Manager, Preventive Health Services, Hospital, Jessica Jurcik (featured in the campaign), Dan DePeuter, Tobacco Control Area Network Coordinator, and Denise Maidment (featured in the campaign).

May 31, 2017 - Today, the words and images of former northwestern Ontario smokers are shining a light on the harsh realities of smoking-related illness and disease. Through their video testimonials, John Susin, Denise Maidment,  and Gini Jonassen  open up about the negative effects smoking has had on their and their families’ lives. The videos were released today by the Northwest Tobacco Control Area Network (NW TCAN) during World No Tobacco Day to encourage smokers to quit.  As it often takes more than one attempt, a theme that runs through the campaign is to Keep Trying.   

Susin, 48, smoked for 25 years. His video describes the health consequences he faced, his success with quitting and the toll smoking had on his father.

“I would have major coughing fits until I felt I would pass out, which motivated me to quit,” he says. “About six months after I quit smoking, my dad was outside puffing on a cigarette when he collapsed. We watched him suffer for five years before we sadly watched my dad leave this world.”

The campaign, which began with static ads and radio commercials in late 2016, will run throughout 2017 and will feature the video testimonials of these three northwestern Ontario residents with the goal of encouraging smokers to make a quit attempt. The campaign directs the public to the which contains links to online supports, quitting success stories, and a directory of one-on-one counselling available by community listing.

“By sharing my story I hope I can encourage smokers to quit and that other people will see the truth about smoking and never start,” Susin adds.

Smoking kills half of all long-term users and tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario, killing more than 13,000 Ontarians every year.  It also leaves many people living with diseases or serious health conditions that affect their overall health, well-being, and quality of life.

For more information on the campaign visit – or contact your Public Health Unit.

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Gini's Testimonial & PSA

John's Testimonial & PSA


Denise's Testimonial

News Type
News Releases
Health Topics
Smoking & Tobacco