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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trolls will Descend upon Southside Park during Annual Smoke-Free Movie Night

Family-friendly event will draw attention to the impact of smoking in movies on youth 

Oxford County Public Health’s youth group – What the Health? – will hold a free screening of the movie Trolls (2017) at the fifth annual smoke-free movie night in Woodstock on July 21. The animated comedy with infectious music and hair-raising adventures will be shown on a giant inflatable screen at the base of Southside Park hill, near the skate park. 

In the past, this free outdoor event has drawn crowds in excess of 700 people to enjoy a free movie, popcorn and games. This year’s event, which is sponsored by Execulink, will also include a draw for special VIP seating, a photo booth, dance party and much more. The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with the feature film airing at dusk. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted in lieu of admission.
Research shows that youth who see smoking in movies are more likely to take up the habit. According to a new report published by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit nearly half the top-grossing films released between 2004-2016 featured tobacco, and 86 per cent were youth-rated in Ontario. The Smoke-Free Ontario Scientific Advisory Committee notes that restricting movies with tobacco imagery to adults in Ontario could substantially decrease smoking initiation rates. 

The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies has outlined five actions to reduce youth exposure to on-screen smoking:

1. Give new movies containing tobacco an adult rating, i.e., 18A; 
2. Require strong anti-smoking ads before movies depicting tobacco use in all distribution channels; 
3. Certify no payoffs for displaying tobacco; 
4. Stop identifying tobacco brands in movies, and 
5. Require films with tobacco imagery assigned a youth rating to be ineligible for government film subsidies. 

For more information, visit 

What the Health? is actively recruiting youth volunteers 14-24 to help with this year’s smoke-free movie night. All volunteers will receive a $25 gift card and volunteer hours for participating, along with a one of a kind experience. More details about the Smoke-Free Movie Night and volunteer opportunities can be found on the What the Health? website, Facebook or Twitter.
In the event of rain, the smoke-free movie festivities and film screening will move into the arena at the Woodstock Community Complex. 


Olivia Gudziewski, What the Health? team member - “Our smoke-free movie night has become such a popular event over the past five years. It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together to show support for an issue that will help us reduce tobacco use in future generations.” 

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Media Contact:

Donna Kemp
Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158
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