Health groups hope to make smoke-free bylaw an election issue in Prince Albert

12 October 2016

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For immediate release

 

Health group hope to make smoke-free bylaw an election issue

  

REGINA - Saskatchewan health groups are hoping voters in Prince Albert will consider public health when they choose their mayor and council on October 26th.  The Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Saskatchewan Lung Association have surveyed Prince Albert candidates for their opinions on smoke-free outdoor places and restricting electronic cigarettes and water pipe smoking in public places.  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 this public health policy,” 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 in areas that impact public health more quickly than provincial or federal governments. Some municipalities in Saskatchewan have already enacted bylaws to protect people from second-hand smoke outdoors including Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.

“It’s heartening to see from the responses we’ve received that many candidates understand the importance of protecting people from second-hand smoke. This election is a chance for voters to make their voices heard on the issue, says Donna Pasiechnik, Manager, Tobacco Control for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

Late last spring the issue of electronic cigarettes came up at city council. The people who get elected council will have an opportunity to debate it further when the city administration comes back with a report later this fall.

From now until Election Day, health groups will use online ads and social media to inform the public and thousands of volunteers of where candidates stand. “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.