Monday, January 16, 2012
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Ontarians Breathing Easier During National Non-Smoking Week
During the 35th annual National Non-Smoking Week, Ontario is celebrating the progress made to create a healthier province and is reiterating its commitment to smoke-free communities.
Since 2005, millions of Ontarians have breathed cleaner air thanks to the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy. Under the strategy:
Last spring, the government renewed its commitment to a smoke-free Ontario. Smokers will get more help to quit through new and enhanced supports, including increased access to nicotine replacement therapy and planned expansion of cessation counselling in healthcare settings and pharmacies.
- Smoking is now prohibited in enclosed public spaces and workplaces
- Children are now protected from second-hand smoke in cars
- Cigarette "power walls" have been banned in stores
- 1.37 million Ontarians have received the supports they need to help them quit smoking
Helping people quit smoking and protecting Ontarians from second-hand smoke is a key part of the McGuinty government's plan to keep the province healthy and builds on its commitment to create a smoke-free Ontario.
"Our government is steadfast in our commitment to curb tobacco use and protect people from the effects of second-hand smoke. During this year's National Non-Smoking Week, I encourage Ontarians who smoke to get help quitting with our provincially funded programs and supports, so together we can be a healthier province."
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"The Ontario Lung Association has been a big supporter of innovative initiatives to reduce smoking in Ontario. That is why we have created Quit & Get Fit, a unique program based on research that shows physical activity can help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms. Visit www.quitandgetfit.ca."
- George Habib, President and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association
"The Canadian Cancer Society has provided support for smokers for many years through its toll-free, confidential Smokers' Helpline. In addition, the Driven to Quit Challenge can give Ontarians just that extra motivation they need to make the attempt and quit smoking."
- Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
- The percentage of Ontarians who smoke has declined from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 18.6 per cent in 2009.
- Each year, tobacco claims 13,000 lives in Ontario - equivalent to 36 lives every day.
- Tobacco-related disease costs Ontario's health care system $1.93 billion in direct health care costs.
- Recently, the Superior Court of Justice made a decision which paves the way for Ontario's $50-billion lawsuit against a group of 14 tobacco companies for health-care costs to move forward.
- Approximately 62 per cent of adult smokers intend to quit smoking within the next six months; thirty-two per cent intend to quit smoking within 30 days.
- Forty-nine per cent of Ontario smokers make a serious attempt to quit smoking over the course of a year.
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