Canadian Cancer Society calls on the Government of Prince Edward Island to adopt smoke-free outdoor spaces this World No Tobacco Day

31 May 2017

Charlottetown -

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the provincial government to expand the current legislation to include a ban on smoking in outdoor spaces where people – particularly youth – are often enjoying the outdoors. “During the summer months, residents of Prince Edward Island should be enjoying our public beaches, playgrounds, patios and recreational fields without being exposed to second-hand smoke,” says Marlene Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society, Prince Edward Island.

World No Tobacco Day, held across the globe today, is an opportunity to highlight the ongoing tobacco epidemic and advocate for effective policies and programs that will promote healthier lifestyles and protect the next generation of Islanders.

Outdoor smoking bans are gaining momentum worldwide because they offer health benefits for smokers and non-smokers alike. Banning smoking in outdoor public places creates a healthy environment by limiting exposure to second-hand smoke, denormalizing the use of tobacco among youth, and motivating smokers to quit or cut back.

There is a growing trend across many Canadian jurisdictions to adopt smoke-free outdoor spaces. In 2015, New Brunswick adopted the most progressive provincial legislation in Canada restricting smoking in outdoor spaces such as bars, patios, public parks, beaches, playgrounds and sports fields. Prince Edward Island is the only province in Atlantic Canada that permits smoking on patios. This is of particular concern for restaurants and bar servers who are exposed to second hand smoke throughout their shifts during patio season.

Hundreds of municipalities across Canada, including Charlottetown, have bylaws and policies to protect the public from exposure to second-hand smoke in outdoor spaces. “While we are pleased with the progress we are making to control tobacco use on Prince Edward Island, a strengthened provincial legislative approach is the next obvious step. Provincial legislation would provide needed protection to Islanders regardless of where they live, work and play,” says Mulligan.

While we have come a long way in reducing smoking rates, there are many ways that we must continue to reduce the devastating effects of tobacco. According with the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey, the smoking rate on PEI is 15%.
For more information on tobacco control visit www.cancer.ca

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

Media Contact:
Kelly Cull, Canadian Cancer Society
902-470-2040 or kelly.cull@ns.cancer.ca