March 17,

RIDE Checks to Educate Drivers on Illegal Tobacco and Smoking Cessation Supports

December 13, 2016 – Peterborough Public Health and Peterborough-Northumberland Crime Stoppers announced today that RIDE checks will include an additional educational focus for drivers on illegal purchases of tobacco and local smoking cessation supports.

“We want people to know that possessing and purchasing untaxed or unregulated tobacco can result in fines ranging from $100 to $10,000,” said Detective Ian Maxwell of Crime Stoppers. “Stopping the purchase and distribution of illegal tobacco is critical to reducing youth smoking rates and preventing cash flow to organized crime.”

During RIDE checks, police will give drivers a brochure and a flashlight pen to ‘shine a light’ on tobacco as part of this season’s campaign. Under the Tobacco Tax Act enforced by the Ministry of Finance and police services, unless otherwise authorized, it is illegal to buy, possess or distribute any quantity of untaxed or unregulated cigarettes or other tobacco products. That’s why the focus of this campaign is urging people to ‘look for the yellow stamp’ when purchasing tobacco products. A yellow stamp or sticker on the tobacco package indicates that the tobacco product is compliant with the law and is coming from a regulated producer.

Public health officials are pleased to partner with this campaign because the hand-delivered brochure also promotes local smoking cessation programs. “Drivers will also learn that Peterborough Public Health offers free nicotine replacement therapy and counselling from a Public Health Nurse,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “We want everyone who is pulled over to know that we’re here to help people in their quit attempts, and how this is an important part of reducing the demand for cheap, illegal tobacco.”

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario, killing more than 13,000 Ontarians every year. It is the only legal substance that kills half of its users.

For further information, please contact:
Keith Beecroft, Tobacco Use Prevention
Peterborough Public Health
705-743-1000, ext. 238

Program Detective Ian Maxwell
Peterborough-Northumberland Crime Stoppers

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