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A Conversation
on Prevention

Advocacy, Guest blogger, Provincial Election, Smoking, Tobacco, April 10th, 2013

Let’s keep the momentum going

by Nazanine Parent, cancer survivor and Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon volunteer

It’s great to see the BC Government has taken steps to tackle tobacco. The BC Smoking Cessation Program offers free 24/7 help to those who want to quit through QuitNow.ca and Quit Now by Phone.

This is a great start to helping an estimated 70% of smokers who wish to quit – not to mention that it reduces second-hand smoke for those who don’t smoke. Let’s keep the momentum going by making sure we have smoke-free outdoor places across the province.

Why are we asking for smoke-free outdoor places?

1. Tobacco is a major health issue that needs the attention of our provincial leaders. In Canada, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death – 37,000 Canadians die every year of tobacco related illnesses – including cancer.

2. Second-hand smoke is extremely toxic. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals including at least 50 known cancer-causing substances.  In an outdoor setting, second-hand smoke is a hazard. In fact, being within a few feet of a smoker outdoors may expose you to air pollution levels comparable to homes and bars that allow smoking.

Banning smoking in parks, playgrounds, patios and beaches is a sound public health policy that can increase motivation for smokers to quit or cut back, decrease unhealthy role modelling for children and youth and de-normalize smoking behaviour. What a great way for the BC Government to invest in cancer prevention.

All British Columbians should be protected from second-hand smoke. Strong province-wide legislation would give British Columbians access to smoke-free outdoor public places, especially the parks and playgrounds where children play.

Do your part by living smoke-free and avoiding second-hand smoke. Let’s enjoy our beaches, parks, patios, playgrounds, without the worry of second-hand smoke. With your help we can enjoy healthier communities.

Ready to get started? Contact your MLA today and voice your concerns. Find out what they’re doing to help ban smoking in public places. Learn more at cancergameplan.ca

If you’re ready to quit smoking, download our One Step at a Time guide.

For more quit smoking resources, visit cancer.ca.


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