A new program on P.E.I. is helping smokers take up healthier lifestyles.

The Learn to Run for Smokers Program teaches smokers how run, get motivated, and the hope is that will eventually lead them to quit.

pe-hi-running-smoking-4col

The running for smokers program started in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

The eight week course first started in Nova Scotia, then launched in Alberta.

"The whole purpose of the program isn't for smoking cessation," said Lianna McKinnon, who organizes the program on P.E.I.

"It's more so to get them physically fit and then maybe if the smoking cessation is secondary to that, that's kind of the goal of the program."

About 10 Islanders have already signed up. The group's goal is to run Charlottetown's five kilometre Gold Cup Trot by the end of the eight-week program.