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Health groups hope to make smoke-free bylaw an election issue in Moose Jaw

12 October 2016

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For immediate release

October 12, 2016

 

Smoke-free bylaw an election issue

 

 

REGINA - Saskatchewan health groups are hoping voters in Moose Jaw will think about the health of their communities when they choose their mayor and council on October 26. The Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Saskatchewan Lung Association surveyed Moose Jaw candidates for their opinions on smoke-free outdoor places and restricting electronic cigarettes and water pipe smoking in public places. Approximately 60% of candidates responded and their answers are posted on the Canadian Cancer Society website.

“We know that most people in Saskatchewan want more smoke-free places where they eat, drink and play outdoors. The only way to make that happen is to vote for candidates who support adopting public health policies on these issues,” says Jennifer May, Vice-President, Health Promotion for the Saskatchewan Lung Association.    

Municipalities are vital in the fight against cancer, heart and lung diseases, and stroke. They are able to legislate on topics that have an impact on public health more quickly than provincial or federal governments. Several municipalities across Saskatchewan have already enacted bylaws to protect people from second-hand smoke outdoors, including Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.

“It’s heartening to see that most candidates in Moose Jaw understand the importance of healthy public policy. This election is a chance for voters to have their say on smoke-free places at the ballot box.,” says Donna Pasiechnik, Manager, Tobacco Control for the Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan. 

In 2003 Moose Jaw residents showed their support for a smoke-free bylaw through a plebiscite during the municipal election. As a result, the city was the first in the province to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. That helped set the standard for other cities to adopt similar legislation which eventually led to province-wide legislation.

During the next few weeks leading up to voting day, the health groups will be using online ads and social media to inform the public and thousands of volunteers about their candidates’ positions. “This is an opportunity for voters to make a difference and create healthy communities for their families,” says Fleur Macqueen Smith, Director, Government Relations and Health Promotion with the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Saskatchewan.

Media contacts:

Donna Pasiechnik , Canadian Cancer Society  306-790-9871

Jennifer May, Saskatchewan Lung Association  306-343-9511

Fleur Macqueen Smith, Heart and Stroke Foundation  306-500-6026





The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.