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

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 Regina will think about health when they choose their mayor and council on October 26th.  The Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation in Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan Lung Association have surveyed Regina candidates for their opinions on smoke-free outdoor public places and restricting electronic cigarettes and water pipes in public places. More than half of the candidates have responded and their answers are posted on the Canadian Cancer Society website.

“We know that most people in Regina want more smoke-free places where they eat, drink and play. The only way they will get a bylaw is if like-minded candidates get a seat on city council, so we’re saying vote for health,” says Jennifer May, Vice-President of Health Promotion for the 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. Some municipalities have already enacted bylaws to protect people from second hand smoke outdoors, including Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville. “Regina residents deserve the same protection. Regina is one of only two major cities in Canada that still allow smoking on outdoor patio despite strong public support and scientific evidence that it’s dangerous,” says Donna Pasiechnik, Manager, Tobacco Control for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

Municipal bylaws also set the standard for provincial legislation and have motivated provincial governments to take action. In Saskatchewan cities were the first to adopt indoor smoking bylaws which eventually led to a province-wide ban.

From now until the election health groups will be using online ads and social media to inform voters and thousands of volunteers about their candidates’ opinions on this important health issue. “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.