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Health Unit Marks One Year Of Smoke-Free Ontario

Armen Hareyan's picture

Smoke-Free Ontario

The Middlesex-London Health Unit will join its counterparts across the province in marking the first anniversary of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and World No Tobacco Day.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which prohibits smoking in all enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places, came into effect on May 31st, 2006.

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"Having the Act in place has enhanced our efforts to reduce tobacco use and improve the health of people across the region," says Jonathan Mall, Tobacco Control Manager with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. "We've helped many people give up smoking, we've reduced second-hand smoke, we're protecting our young people from the effects of tobacco by ensuring products are not sold to minors and we're educating teens about the reasons not to light up in the first place."

Since it became law last year, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act has had a significant impact across the province. The Act built on earlier municipal bylaws in London and Middlesex County, which ensured that thousands of employees in the region had cleaner air to breathe at work. The legislation also reduced dramatically the impacts of second-hand smoke for non-smokers. In the last year, more than 1,974 residents of the city and the county have been supported in their efforts to quit smoking and tobacco control compliance rates have remained high, with 88% of vendors refusing to sell tobacco to those under the age of 19.

The One Life Crew, the Middlesex-London Health Unit's Youth Action Alliance, has also been active through the Smoke-Free Ontario initiative, developing educational, creative and engaging events for youth. The Crew's primary aims are to expose the tactics used by the tobacco industry to recruit young people as new smokers and highlight the harmful effects of tobacco industry products.

The One Life Crew will be celebrating the first anniversary of Smoke Free Ontario by hosting a dance party for students in grades 9 and 10. The event takes place on Friday, June 1st, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the South London Community Centre, located at 1119 Jalna Blvd.