Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable illness, disability and premature death in Canada; 50% of smokers die of smoke-related disease. Second-hand smoke is also hazardous to health with no safe level of exposure.
Tobacco Reduction in the Western Region - The Tobacco Free Network (TFN)
Tobacco control efforts in the Western region are guided and supported by the Tobacco Free Network (TFN). The TFN is a regional group of Western Health staff, community agencies and community members dedicated to the prevention and eradication of tobacco use in the Western region.
The TFN includes representatives from Western Health, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, Western Regional School of Nursing, Canadian Cancer Society, Grenfell Campus, Services NL and Community Mental Health Initiative.
Some TFN initiatives include: a school radio ad contest for National Non-Smoking Week, a photo contest for World No Tobacco Day and advocating for smoke-free properties in the Western region. The TFN works with the Alliance for the Control of Tobacco to implement the Provincial Tobacco Reduction Strategy. Follow the TFN on Twitter @TFN_NL.
Benefits of Quitting - Newfoundland and Labrador Smoker's Helpline (SHL)
Living a tobacco-free life means living a healthier life, and sometimes that can be a hard thing to do. The Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers' Helpline is a free, confidential counselling service available to individuals who want to quit smoking and stay smoke free.
The SHL services are available for anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador. The SHL counsellors have helped thousands of people quit smoking by offering them the support they need to succeed. Please visit the Smoker's Helpline website for more information.
Western Health in partnership with SHL is working toward increasing Community Action Referral Effort (CARE) referrals in the Western region. For more information please contact the Regional Health Educator (637-5000 extension 5355).
Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT)
In 1999, the Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT) was formed and tasked with developing a Tobacco Reduction Strategy (TRS). This strategy guides tobacco control efforts for Western Health and partners across the province. Achievements in the area of Tobacco Control include:
- The Smoke-Free Environment Act, 2005 was amended in 2005 and 2011. It prohibited smoking in public places such as bars, placed a ban on designated smoking rooms in workplaces and banned smoking in motor vehicles while children under the age of 16 are present.
- The Tobacco Control Act was amended in 2010 to restrict how tobacco products can be displayed, stored and promoted in establishments that sell tobacco.
- All regional health authorities implemented 100% smoke-free properties policies which included asking patients about their smoking status on admission and, if they smoke, offering support to quit.
- All school districts in the province implemented 100% smoke-free school grounds policies, and post-secondary institutions implemented smoke-free campus policies.
- The Provincial Smokers' Helpline expanded its programs to include a successful fax referral program called Community Action and Referral Effort (CARE) with health professionals and workplaces,
For more information on ACT and the TRS visit their website.