Moving Towards a Tobacco-Free Society
Submitted by Yves Decoste, RN BScN, Public Health Nurse and Tobacco Coordinator
Smoking will be prohibited in all enclosed public places and workplaces in Ontario as of May 31st 2006. The new Smoke-Free Ontario Act will replace two existing pieces of legislation: the Tobacco Control Act and the Smoking in the Workplace Act. The new legislation will also completely eliminate tobacco sales displays as of May 31st of 2008.
Over 16,000 Ontarians die yearly as a result of smoking related diseases.
Quit Smoking Contest
Residents of Leeds Grenville and Lanark participated in great numbers in the Ontario Quit Smoking 2005 Contest. Participants where asked to sign up, make a quit plan and find a buddy to support them in the quit effort. Smokers had to be smoke-free for the entire month of February to be eligible for one of seven regional prizes or the grand prize of a Ford Mustang. Over 19,000 smokers signed up including 331 area residents taking part in the biggest contest yet.
2nd Annual Tobacco Arts Contest
Secondary students within Leeds, Grenville and Lanark were invited to submit any type of art. The projects were to create awareness about smoking and its effects (example shown at right). Winners were Katie Howe – Notre Dame Catholic High School, Carleton Place; Katherine Watson – St. John Catholic High School, Perth; Kyle Tonsant – South Grenville District High School, Prescott.
The Health Unit participated in two media campaigns. Breathing Space aims to remind smokers to take smoking outside the home and not expose children to the effects of second-hand smoke. The “Not to Kids” campaign discusses the issue of social supply of cigarettes to minors. Selling or supplying of tobacco to anyone under the age of 19 is an offence under the Tobacco Control Act in Ontario and could result in a fine. When it comes to tobacco prevention and protecting our children from exposure to second-hand smoke, we all have a part to play.
More information on a Tobacco-Free Society...