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Non-Smoking Week – January 20-26, 2008

The Honorable Rose Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services encouraged all residents to mark National Non-Smoking Week (January 20-26, 2008) in consideration of the benefits of being a non-smoker.

Smoking levels have essentially reduced among youth. According to the latest statistics from 2007 tobacco use fell from 27.3 %, in 2003 to 16.9 %. Minister Wiseman said "This is important information for us as we move forward in planning additional initiatives to further reduce the rate of smoking in Newfoundland and Labrador".

The next main pace in tobacco reduction is collaboration with the province partners, such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association, the Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT) and the regional health authorities. The next phase is the development of the Provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy, for 2008 to 2011. The previous phase (2005 – 2008) attracted new initiatives such as the Smoke Free Environment Act in 2005. Smoking was banned in all public indoor places including bingo halls and bars and the realization of the Be Free Smoke Free mass media campaign.

Executive Director of the Labrador and Newfoundland Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT), Kevin Coady, says that "because of the great work of ACT's many partners throughout our province more and more people are choosing to live life smoke-free."

Mr. Coady is confident that the 2008 – 2011 Provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy our population will be greater protected from the hazards of second-hand smoke and a further decrease in the province's smoking levels.

Minister Wiseman indicated "National Non-Smoking Week helps to remind us all of the negative health consequences that stem from tobacco use. This presents a great opportunity for parents, guardians and educators to spread the message about the harmful effects of tobacco to help prevent and further decrease tobacco use among youth in our province."

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