ONTARIO'S DOCTORS WELCOME NEW TOBACCO INITIATIVES

TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors commend today's announcement by the provincial government which cracks down on contraband cigarettes and enhances support for people who want to quit smoking.

"Today's announcement is another important step in the ongoing fight against tobacco," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). "Keeping contraband cigarettes out of our children's hands is a good thing."

Ontario's doctors have long been a leading voice against the use of tobacco and undertaken numerous reports on the subsequent health risks. Earlier this year, Ontario's doctors released their election policy platform, 'Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario', which among other recommendations called for a comprehensive contraband strategy and cessation system to support those who want to quit smoking.

In recent years, governments have passed several significant pieces of legislation and implemented a number of initiatives including: prohibiting the sale of tobacco to people under 19; limiting tobacco advertising; eliminating smoking from workplace and public places; and curbing exposure to second-hand smoke. But there is more work to be done.

"Ontario's doctors are committed to working with government to reduce tobacco use, and we look forward to helping more patients quit," said Dr. MacLeod.

Quick Facts:

  • 13,000 deaths are directly related to smoking in Ontario every year.
  • Tobacco-induced disease directly costs Ontario's health care system $1.6 billion annually.
  • The contraband cigarette market in Ontario continues to grow exponentially and it is estimated that at least one in five cigarettes smoked in Ontario are contraband.

"Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario." can be found at www.oma.org

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862
www.oma.org


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