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Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces

In Nova Scotia, over 1,700 people die each year from smoking related illness. Sadly, 200 more die from being exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you don’t smoke the unfortunate truth is just being near someone who is smoking puts you at risk of developing lung, larynx and pharynx cancers. Smoke-free outdoor spaces can help reduce that risk.

  • Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces will save lives

    Smoking, even if it is outside, puts everyone at risk. Stanford University researchers examined particles in outdoor smoke under various conditions. The study revealed that a person near an outdoor smoker could breathe in wisps of smoke that could be 10s to 100s of times more concentrated than normal background air pollution levels. In fact, depending on air conditions average levels of smoke within half a meter from a single cigarette source are comparable to indoor levels.

    Creating smoke-free outdoor spaces protects people — especially children — from second-hand smoke exposure. Research conducted by Statistics Canada shows that when smoking bans have been implemented, smokers have chosen to quit or cut back. It also helps prevent children from thinking smoking is a normal, social activity. If children don’t see adults smoking they are less likely to begin themselves. 

  • Take Action
    • Invite the Canadian Cancer Society to present to your Council on this important issue
    • Hear from community stakeholders who support this initiative
    • Implement by-laws that protect the public, especially children, who gather in outdoor spaces
    • Watch as your community becomes a healthier place to live, work and play
  • Tobacco use statistics
    • Approximately 30% of cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco
    • Tobacco use is one of Nova Scotia’s leading causes of preventable illness and death
    • In Nova Scotia, over 1,700 die each year from smoking related illness and two hundred more die from exposure to second-hand smoke
    • Over $170 million is spent annually treating tobacco related diseases
  • Second-hand smoke is deadly

    Hundreds of the chemicals in second-hand smoke are toxic, and more than 70 of them can cause cancer. Every year, about 1,000 Canadians who don’t smoke die from second-hand smoke. In fact, just being around second-hand smoke puts you at risk of developing lung larynx and pharynx cancers.

  • Smoke-Free Bylaws in Nova Scotia
     Since 2008, several municipalities have taken on the challenge of making their communities healthier places to live, work, and play.

    • 2013 — Truro bans smoking on playgrounds, trails, parks, recreation facilities and sports fields
    • 2012 — Amherst bans smoking from municipal parks, playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities
    • 2011 — Yarmouth bans smoking from sidewalks in school areas
    • 2009 — Kentville bans smoking from playgrounds, recreation facilities and sports fields, transit stops, trails and outdoor events
    • 2008 — Bridgewater bans smoking from playgrounds, parks, sports and recreational fields, trails, and outdoor events

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