News Release Archive

     The Department of Health is setting up a Tobacco Control
Unit to beef up overall prevention efforts, Health Minister Ron
Stewart said today.

     "Smoking is the number one public health problem in this
province," the minister said.  "Each year an estimated 1,500 Nova
Scotians die as a direct result of smoking; another 180
nonsmokers die as a direct result of their exposure to
environmental tobacco smoke.  And now we find, through the 1994
study on students and tobacco, that more of our youth are
smoking.  We must do more to conquer this health problem."

     The Tobacco Control Unit will focus on proactive prevention
programs.  The unit will identify needs within individual
communities and, working with various partners, develop and
coordinate quality prevention programs concentrating on schools,
parents, the business community and health care providers.

     Curriculum support, for example, will be provided to Nova
Scotia teachers, and schools will be encouraged to eliminate all
smoking from the buildings and grounds; print material targeted
at parents will be developed to foster family discussion of
tobacco issues; general worksites will be provided with
assistance to move to smoke-free operations; corporate businesses
with many sites, such as franchise operations, will be provided
with assistance and encouragement to increase the percentage of
smoke-free operations; and health and social service workers will
be given the training and tools to deal with tobacco reduction
issues in their day-to-day delivery of care and assistance.

     The unit has a $500,000 annual budget and will be
operational in three to six months.  Merv Ungurain, director,
public health administrative services with the Department of
Health, has been appointed acting director of the Tobacco Control

     "This ministry has never been more serious about the tobacco
battles," said Dr. Stewart.  "We're hoping the Tobacco Control
Unit will really make a difference."

     Nova Scotia's Tobacco Control Unit is among the first of its
kind in the country and first in the Atlantic Region.
Contact:  Chris Hansen, 902-424-5925

     At the news conference this afternoon at Province House
regarding the results of the 1994 survey on students and tobacco
and the announcement on the start-up of the Department of
Health's Tobacco Control Unit, a news release containing a
factual error was distributed.

     The news release, headlined TOBACCO CONTROL UNIT ESTABLISHED
TO BATTLE SMOKING PROBLEM, quotes Health Minister Ron Stewart:
"Each year an estimated 1,900 Nova Scotians die as a direct
result of smoking."


     Please correct this inaccuracy.

     The figure has been corrected in the release sent on the
government wire.
lm                                      January 20, 1995