Facing Off Against Tobacco

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Sarnia-Lambton youth are taking 'ACTION' to break the link between tobacco products and sports and recreation during the 2nd Advocates Challenging the Tobacco Industry in Ontario Now (ACTION) Week, November 23-29.

To celebrate ACTION Week, Lambton high school students can attend the November 27 Sarnia Legionnaires' hockey game for the Tobacco Face-Off Contest FREE of charge with Student ID and a donation of gently used sport and recreation equipment to the YMCA RASP (Recreation and Sport Program). The school with the most students attending will win a visit from a guest speaker.

The Tobacco Face-Off will culminate with 10 Lambton secondary school principals competing in an on-ice obstacle course during first intermission.

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Legionnaires' coach Bill Abercrombie says, "Our team is committed to Tobacco Free Sport and Recreation. We hope to encourage more organizations to make the commitment to be tobacco free."

Breaking the connection to create tobacco-free events means that athletes, coaches and spectators must refrain from using any form of tobacco product while participating in and observing the activity, says Becky Wellington-Horner, Health Promotion Officer with County of Lambton Community Health Services Department.

"It's important for youth to have a safe, healthy environment to enjoy sport and recreation activities. Creating these settings helps prevent youth from being exposed to these products and from being targeted by marketing efforts is an important step to help prevent youth from starting to use these addictive and dangerous products."

Dr. Chris Greensmith, Medical Officer of Health (A) for Lambton, says "Tobacco use continues to be the major cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario. This is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health and athletic performance."

Susan Kitchen, executive director of the Coaches Association of Ontario, says "Athletes, coaches and sporting organizations that choose to be tobacco-free are positive role models for Ontario's youth."

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