Ingrid Cathcart Receives National Award for Outstanding Work in Tobacco Control

Written by admin, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013 – Many of Peterborough’s Smoke-Free Firsts Credited to Her Leadership

The Peterborough Public Health is proud to announce that the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) has awarded the 2013 Non-Smoker of the Year Award to staff member Ingrid Cathcart, Tobacco Enforcement Officer, for her outstanding leadership in tobacco control at the local level.

The NSRA recognized Ingrid as “a driving force behind a number of precedent-setting achievements in her jurisdiction.” She is credited with making Peterborough the home to many firsts in pursuit of a tobacco-free society, such as collaborating with Peterborough Regional Health Centre officials to make it Ontario’s first totally smoke-free hospital property, and working with the City of Peterborough to develop one of the first bylaws banning smoking in outdoor spaces.  NSRA also commended Ms. Cathcart’s fellow staff and colleagues for their support of this important work and local politicians who actively champion smoke-free policies.

“We are extremely proud of Ingrid’s accomplishments to reduce the harm of tobacco to our public health, not only in Peterborough but across the province,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health at Public Health. “She regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty, often with significant sacrifice of her personal time and put Peterborough on the map as a leader in regulatory and policy change.”

Thanks to Ms. Cathcart’s efforts Peterborough was among the first to lay charges for violation of the law respecting smoking on school property and the first to lay charges in Ontario for violation of the 9 meter rule at a hospital entrance.  Among many other achievements, she has contributed significantly to the development of smoke free policies in many multi-unit dwellings in the City and County of Peterborough.  Ms. Cathcart was also commended by the NSRA for assisting a nursing home worker, who was required to attend to smokers in Designated Smoking Rooms (DSRs), to file a successful claim at the WSIB – its first smoking-related case, where the worker was awarded compensation and no longer required to enter DSRs.  This ruling also assisted the case of Heather Crowe, the Ottawa waitress who had never smoked but developed lung cancer from working in a smoky restaurant for 40 years.

The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association honours annually individual actors in tobacco control for their outstanding contributions to public health.  Previous recipients of the Non-Smoker of the Year Award include Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer of Nova Scotia, Heather Crowe, Michael Perley and Rob Cunningham.

The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association is a national, non-profit health agency with members across Canada.  The NSRA was the inaugural winner of the international Luther L. Terry Award established by the American Cancer Society for global leadership in tobacco control.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391