January 22, 2007
Prairie North Health Region and Saskatchewan have much to celebrate during Canada’s thirteenth National Non-Smoking Week, January 21 – 27, 2007.
The specially-designated week serves as a local, provincial, and national opportunity to raise the public’s awareness of the benefits of not smoking and to encourage people to quit smoking.
In Prairie North, a municipal referendum in the City of Lloydminster in October 2006 saw the people of the Border City vote in favour of a bylaw prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public and work places. The bylaw came into effect on January 1, 2007.
Elsewhere in Saskatchewan, one in three workers is not protected from second hand smoke in their places of work. Efforts are underway to have the necessary changes made to the Occupational Health and Safety Act so all Saskatchewan workers can enjoy the benefits of smoke free workplaces.
In the past two years, Prairie North Health Region has recognized three schools in the health region whose Grade twelve classes graduated smoke free. The three schools are Ernie Studer School in Loon Lake, Goodsoil Central in Goodsoil and Glaslyn School in Glaslyn.
Throughout the year, Tobacco Control Officers across Saskatchewan go throughout our communities to help ensure that all public places are smoke free. This past year 95% of businesses visited in Prairie North Health Region were in compliance with the Tobacco Control Act. The five percent that were not compliant failed to have proper ‘no smoking’ signage in place, had ash trays set out, or had patrons smoking in the place of business.
As a whole, Saskatchewan was the third province in Canada to ban smoking in all public places and is a national and global leader in tobacco control. By banning the promotion of tobacco industry products to children and youth, Saskatchewan has set a standard. Because of these measures, the percentage of smokers in Saskatchewan has fallen from 28% in 2000 to 22% in 2005. This decrease in the number of smokers has also resulted in fewer deaths from smoking.
It is never too late to quit smoking and here are some great reasons to quit:
- Within 2 weeks of quitting, your senses of taste and smell begin to improve.
- Within 4 weeks of quitting, your blood circulation begins to improve, your lungs work better and physical activity becomes easier.
- Within 3 years, your risk of heart attack will be similar to someone who has never smoked.
- Within 5 years, you will reduce your risk of getting cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney and pancreas.
Above all, quitting saves lives.
If you are interested in getting some help to quit smoking, check out Prairie North’s website at http://www.pnrha.ca/bins/index.asp for a list of help lines and web-based resources.
For more information, contact your health care provider or your local Community/Public Health Office.
Thinking of Quitting Pamphlet
National Non-Smoking Week Newsletter
For more information contact:
Communications Officer, PNHR