Thursday, March 08, 2012
Grey Bruce Health Unit
Tobacco-Free Outdoor Spaces
The target of efforts by the Grey Bruce Health Unit is to make Grey Bruce tobacco-free! …by 2016.
In a presentation to Bruce County, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn outlined a three-point approach of prevention, cessation and protection to reduce the number of people who use tobacco and limit tobacco exposure for others. Tobacco-free outdoor spaces are an important part of this strategy.
Prevention programs in schools help to reduce the numbers of new smokers.
Cessation is addressed in partnership with the hospitals to identify patients who are tobacco users and offer treatment while in hospital and follow-up on discharge. We work closely with the Smokers’ Helpline, which offers cessation counselling, and information.
Protection has been about ensuring people are not exposed to second-hand smoke. Now efforts are shifting to changing the norms around tobacco use. Creating tobacco-free environments is a priority.
The tobacco-free outdoor spaces initiative has a child and youth focus. It will:
A 2009 survey in Grey Bruce shows local residents support tobacco-free outdoor spaces:
- Assist to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco products; children and youth model behaviour after the people they admire.
- Give everyone a chance to perform at his or her best; tobacco use counters the positive health benefits gained by participating in sport and recreational activities.
- Protect the environment; cigarette butts are a main source of litter in communities and on beaches. It takes 15 years for a cigarette butt to degrade.
- Protect children from second-hand smoke; there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, even outdoors.
- Support a tobacco-free culture; youth receive the same tobacco-free messages everywhere.
- Help people trying to quit; the temptation to use tobacco is reduced when people around you are not smoking.
- 86 % percent of adults support tobacco-free playgrounds
- 83% support tobacco-free sports fields and spectator areas
- 73% support tobacco-free beaches
- over 90% support tobacco-free patios and doorways to workplaces (RRFSS, 2009)
Manager, Tobacco Program
Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext 1252