Peel Plans to Reduce Smoking and Improve Residents’ Health
BRAMPTON, ON. (June 1, 2010) – Peel Public Health today announced it’s stepping up efforts to significantly reduce tobacco use for adults and youth by 2020. The goal is to drop adult smoking rates from 19 percent to 15 percent and youth rates to drop from 12 percent (males) and 10 percent (females) to just seven percent for all youth.
“Tobacco legislation for smoke-free bars, restaurants and cars has certainly helped save lives, but tobacco use is still the leading cause of early, preventable death in Ontario,” said Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. “Peel Public Health’s goals to reduce smoking rates in Peel by 2020 are ambitious, but necessary to continue to improve the overall health of our residents.”
According to Health Canada, nearly half of all smokers die from diseases or ailments related to smoking and approximately 100 children die each year as a result of maternal smoking and exposure to smoke in the home.
“We need to stop young people from starting to smoke and help adults to quit smoking,” continued Dr. Mowat. “Not only will this help the individuals themselves, but also those around them – exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to serious health consequences for everyone, particularly children.”
Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Studies have also shown that second-hand smoke has a negative effect on how well children pay attention, think and behave. Recent legislation banning smoking in cars occupied by children under 16, prevents exposure to second-hand smoke inside the vehicle. Peel Public Health believes more can be done.
“Tobacco-free sports and recreation is a big step forward for healthy youth and adults,” said Barb Patten, Supervisor of Peel Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention team. “Everyone – from players and coaches to spectators and leaders – can make a commitment to tobacco-free events. It’s a commitment to last a lifetime.”
Recent research has shown that smoking legislation is making a difference. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that the banning of smoking in bars and restaurants in the City of Toronto has dramatically reduced the number of hospitalizations due to cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. Peel and Toronto both banned smoking in bars and restaurants at the same time.
Peel Public Health also supports smoke-free homes and offers one-to-one counselling to help smokers quit. Call 905-799-7700 for information about the health effects of smoking, second-hand smoke and how to create smoke-free spaces. Caledon residents can call toll-free at 905-584-2216.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the cites of Brampton and Mississauga and the town of Caledon.