May 24, 2006

Sudbury-Area Residents Recognized For Tobacco Control Work

Sudbury And The Province Counting Down To Smoke-Free Ontario, May 31

SUDBURY — Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson was in Sudbury today to honour the work of the Sudbury and District Health Unit and tobacco control activists from the area for their work in reducing the use of tobacco products.

“This city has made tremendous strides in the area of tobacco control,” said Watson, who also took the opportunity to meet with Youth Action Alliance members and staff responsible for enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which takes effect on May 31.  “Since 2003, the City of Greater Sudbury has enjoyed one of the most progressive 100 per cent smoke-free bylaws in the province.”

Watson and Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci presented Heather Crowe Awards to 11 Sudbury-area residents. The award is named in honour of the anti-smoking activist who passed away just two days ago after a battle with lung cancer. Watson described Heather Crowe as the human face of the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke. The award recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations to promote a smoke-free Ontario.

“The health of our community lies not just in economic development and opportunity, but in promoting the health of our people,” said Bartolucci, who is also Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “I am very proud of our local award recipients, and the dedication and professionalism of our health unit staff.”

These awards are just one example of how the McGuinty government is working to protect the health and well-being of Ontario families. Other highlights of the government’s efforts to reduce tobacco consumption include:

  • Investing an additional $3.8 million to support youth prevention efforts
  • Making it more difficult under the new act for minors to acquire tobacco products by prohibiting retailers from selling to customers who appear to be less than 25 years old unless they provide specific identification showing they are at least 19
  • Working with our health care partners and the community to help smokers quit by investing in programs like the Smokers’ Helpline and the STOP study
  • Investing an additional $5.5 million in enforcement of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

“Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in our province,” said Watson. “We are closing in on our target to reduce tobacco consumption by 20 per cent.”

For further information:

Rui Manuel Estevão
Minister’s Office

Julie Rosenberg
Ministry of Health Promotion