News Release Archive

HEALTH--Public Response to Smoke-Free Places Released
Health Minister Jim Smith tabled the results of a public
consultation on smoke-free places today.

The results summarized nearly 2,000 responses to a discussion
paper, titled Smoke-Free Places --Towards Healthier Communities
in Nova Scotia, released in the spring.

"The Smoke-Free Places discussion paper helped open the lines of
communication around the issue of second-hand smoke in our
province," said Dr. Smith. "We felt it was important to gather
input from Nova Scotians before going ahead with smoke-free

Approximately 6,700 copies of the discussion paper were
distributed and 1,993 individuals responded to the questionnaire.
A number of individuals and groups, such as Smoke-Free Nova
Scotia, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Canadian
Cancer Society and the Nova Scotia School Smoking Prevention
Coalition, also submitted comments and concerns.

The consultation found that:

-the issue of second-hand smoke was very important to 81 per cent
of respondents

-of the respondents who smoke, the majority described the issue
of second-hand smoke as somewhat important

-42 per cent of respondents indicated either they or a member of
their immediate household suffered from an illness that was
aggravated by second-hand smoke (this figure included 18 per cent
of the smokers who responded to the questionnaire)

-asthma and allergies were the most common conditions aggravated
by smoking

A high level of support existed among respondents for introducing
no-smoking regulations in areas related to children, sports and
health --specifically, day-care centres, schools, indoor sports
and recreation facilities, and hospitals. The numbers were also
high for introducing no-smoking regulations in restaurants (79
per cent), taxis (86 per cent) and workplaces (83 per cent).

"We will work with the hospitality industry and the business
community to share the results of the consultation and to develop
a reasonable course of action," said Merv Ungurain, director of
the Tobacco Control Unit of the Department of Health.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disability
in Nova Scotia.


Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health

ngr                  Dec. 3, 1997                 2:10 p.m.