News release

Province to Reduce Second-Hand Smoke

Fewer Nova Scotians will be exposed to second-hand smoke. That's the goal of Nova Scotia's Office of Health Promotion as Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald launches Smoke Free Around Me today, March 11. Smoke Free Around Me is a campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke in the home.

"Second-hand smoke makes people sick. In fact, every year in Nova Scotia 200 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke," said Mr. MacDonald. "The Smoke Free Around Me campaign gives Nova Scotians the tools to protect their families and loved ones from the dangers of second-hand smoke in the home."

Each household in the province will receive a package by mail containing information about second-hand smoke and a window sign declaring their home smoke free. The campaign's website -- www.smokefreearoundme.ca -- invites people to register their home as smoke free, provides information on the benefits of a smoke free home and tips to make the home smoke free. The campaign also includes advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television.

"There is no safe level of second-hand smoke and we believe that by increasing knowledge and encouraging discussion, this campaign will change attitudes and behaviours," said Nancy Hoddinott, manager of the provincial tobacco control strategy. "If people smoke, we are encouraging them to smoke outside to protect the health of people in their homes."

"Research continues to mount on the dangers of second-hand smoke exposure and we are confident this campaign can make a difference in the health of the people in our communities," said the minister. "Twenty-two per cent of Nova Scotians smoke, but everyone can be exposed to second-hand smoke."

Public Health Services in the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority and the Cape Breton District Health Authority originally developed and launched the campaign in their own communities in April 2004. The campaign was such a success it is now being expanded to include the rest of the province, thanks to funding from Health Canada.

Nova Scotia's Tobacco Control Strategy, introduced in October 2001, is a seven-part plan that focuses on legislation and policy; tobacco pricing and taxation; treatment and cessation; monitoring and evaluation; community initiatives; school-based programs; and public awareness.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Fewer Nova Scotians will be exposed to second-hand smoke. That's the goal of Nova Scotia's Office of Health Promotion.

Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald launched a Smoke Free Around Me campaign today (March 11th).

The minister says the campaign gives Nova Scotians the tools to protect their families and loved ones from the dangers of second-hand smoke in the home.

Nova Scotians are invited to visit the campaign's website W-W-W dot smokefreearoundme dot C-A to register their home as smoke free and to learn more about the benefits of a smoke free home.

The campaign also includes newspaper, television and radio ads.

Each year in Nova Scotia, 200 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke.

-30-

Contact:

Caitlin Rochon
Health Promotion 902-424-6527 E-mail:
djl            March 11, 2005      10:18 A.M.