Two Firsts Recognized at World No Tobacco Day Event

Written by Communications, May 31, 2019

Celebrating Community Leaders in Tobacco Use Prevention for Better Public Health

During today’s seventh annual World No Tobacco Day celebrations Peterborough Public Health noted two firsts as it recognized several local residents and organizations for their leadership creating a tobacco-wise community here at home.

“We always have such an impressive range of community partners deserving of this recognition, and this year it was wonderful to include representatives from the County of Peterborough and a local food establishment for the first time,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “World No Tobacco Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the growing number of local public health champions whose efforts connect us to the larger global movement to address the tobacco epidemic.”

There were a total of 11 awards handed out to local townships, educational institutions, healthcare services, businesses, and community organizations.  The awards were handed out in three categories. First, the “Exceeding the Standards Act Award” recognized organizations and municipalities who have introduced policies that go beyond the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Next, the “Cessation or Prevention Award” honoured schools and organizations that prevent people from starting to use tobacco products, as well as helping them quit smoking and remaining smoke free. Finally, the “Community Leader Award” celebrated individuals and organizations who contribute to smoking prevention and cessation in our community.

Dr. Salvaterra noted that smoking commercial tobacco is the primary cause for lung cancer, responsible for over two thirds of lung cancer deaths globally. In Peterborough, between 2003 and 2010, there were an estimated 706 lung cancer deaths among people aged 35 and older attributable to smoking.  Put another way, she explained that this meant 85% of all lung cancer deaths in this period were a result of smoking.

“Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the work place also increases risk of lung cancer,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “Commercial tobacco smoke contains over 7 000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Though smoke may be invisible and odourless, it can linger in the air for up to five hours, putting those exposed at risk of lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and reduced lung function.”

For more information on smoke-free policies, tobacco-wise living or supports for quitting smoking, please contact Peterborough Public Health, or visit the Smoke Free Places page on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391