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A Decade of Progress Toward A Smoke-Free Ontario

Helping Ontarians Lead Healthier, More Active Lives
January 21, 2015 6:00 A.M.

For 10 years, Ontario has been making progress toward a Smoke-Free Ontario.
This week is National Non-Smoking Week, and today is Weedless Wednesday. To mark the occasion, Ontario is recognizing the top 10 achievements of its Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy:
1. Banning smoking in all enclosed public places and all enclosed work places in May 2006.
2. Restricting the retail promotion of tobacco products in May 2006 and imposing a ban on the display of tobacco products in May 2008.
3. Banning smoking in motor vehicles with passengers under the age of 16 in January 2009.
4. Introducing prohibitions on the sale of flavoured cigarillos and establishing regulations for cigarillo packaging in July 2010.
5. Introducing stronger controls over all types of raw leaf tobacco grown in or imported into Ontario in June 2011.
6. Banning smoking on and around children's playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields and surfaces as of January 1, 2015.
7. Banning smoking on bar and restaurant patios as of January 1, 2015.
8. Banning the sale of tobacco on university and college campuses as of January 1, 2015.
9. Introducing legislation that, if passed, would limit the use and sale of e-cigarettes, including banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
10. Introducing legislation that, if passed, would ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products.
Despite significant progress in curbing the use of tobacco products, 13,000 Ontarians still die each year as a result of tobacco-related diseases. The Ontario government will continue to build on the progress it has made through the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy to achieve the lowest smoking rate in Canada.
Making Ontario the healthiest place to grow up and grow old is part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care. It is also part of the Ontario government's four-part economic plan to build Ontario up by investing in people's talent and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

" We have made a great deal of progress on the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy over the last decade, but there is still more work to be done. We must continue to do whatever we can to protect all Ontarians from the dangers of smoking, drive down smoking rates, and make Ontario the jurisdiction with the lowest smoking rates in Canada."
- Dipika Damerla
Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

• Tobacco-related disease costs Ontario’s health care system an estimated $2.2 billion in direct health care costs and an additional $5.3 billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity each year, according to 2011 data.
• Ontario's smoking rate fell from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 18.1 per cent in 2013, representing 332,361 fewer smokers.
• One in four Ontario high school smokers have smoked menthol cigarettes in the last 30 days, according to Canada’s 2012/13 Youth Smoking Survey.

• Ontario’s Smoke Free Ontario Strategy
• Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care

Andrew Robertson    1/21/2015


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