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May 31 Is World No Tobacco Day

Armen Hareyan's picture

World No Tobacco Day

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, drawing global attention to the effects of smoking and the death and disease it causes.

This year's theme, "Smoke-Free Environments," emphasizes the dangers of second-hand smoke.

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On this occasion, I am pleased to acknowledge the work of provinces, territories and municipalities who, in recent years, have made remarkable progress in creating smoke-free environments. In fact, many have completely banned smoking in all public and work places.

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud the recent announcement by the Ministry of Labour on proposed changes to the Non-Smokers' Health Regulations to ban smoking rooms in federally-regulated workplaces.

Addressing the health hazards of second-hand smoke continues to be a priority. Nearly 800,000 children under the age of 18 are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Children regularly exposed to these toxins are at least 50 per cent more likely to suffer damage to their lungs and breathing problems such as asthma, and they have an increased risk of developing emphysema as an adult.

In an effort to protect children, Canada's New Government launched the Make Your Home and Car Smoke-Free campaign last December. The campaign supports parents in their efforts to protect their children from exposure to second-hand smoke. We hope that by helping to change smoking behaviour, we can look forward to a healthier generation of Canadians in the future.