TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society applauds the Ontario government today for protecting the health of Ontarians by introducing the strongest comprehensive tobacco control legislation since the 2006 Smoke-Free Ontario Act was introduced.
"The Canadian Cancer Society strongly supports policies that prevent cancer," says Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs, Ontario Division. "The Government of Ontario's proposed measures to strengthen the Smoke-Free Ontario Act will reduce smoking among youth and reduce the many ways in which tobacco companies are able to promote their products among youth."
"Tobacco use kills. We must not sit idle while the tobacco industry addicts more and more people," says Pinto. "We congratulate the Government of Ontario for this courageous legislation that puts the health of Ontarians first."
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Ontario. It is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer deaths. Smoking rates in Ontario have remained stagnant for the past four years, which is of concern to the Society.
Studies show that nearly all smokers start using tobacco before the age of 18. This bill contains important measures to reduce smoking among youth, in particular a ban on all candy- and fruit-flavoured tobacco products and increased fines for selling tobacco to youth.
If passed, the bill will also create smoke-free spaces on playgrounds, sports fields and restaurant and bar patios. Creating smoke-free outdoor spaces not only protects the public and workers from second-hand smoke but also reduces the exposure of youth to adult smoking so that they are less likely to view it as normal behaviour. Smoking bans have also been shown to increase the motivation of smokers to quit and cut back.
The proposed bill will also expand the number of places prohibited to sell tobacco by banning the sale of tobacco products on university and college campuses. This measure will further protect youth from starting to smoke. Young adults between the ages of 20-24 have the highest smoking rates in Ontario at 18%.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website, www.cancer.ca or call toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.
Image with caption: "A sample of the kinds of candy-flavoured tobacco products marketed to youth. (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131113_C7130_PHOTO_EN_33331.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Media contact: Christine Koserski, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division: 416-323-7030; [email protected]