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Canada Moves Closer to Being a Smokefree Country


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Canada Moves Closer to Being a Smokefree Country

New Brunswick and Manitoba Go Smokefree on October 1

Canada, the second largest country in the world, is made up of ten provinces and three territories. On October 1, the entire provinces of New Brunswick and Manitoba will go smokefree, with the province of Saskatchewan going smokefree on Janaury 1. The territories of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories went smokefree on May 1, 2004. (Many Canadian cities in other provinces have also enacted smokefree workplace laws, but not the entire province.)

"Smokefree workplace legislation is a matter of respect and dignity for workers," says Joe Cherner, founder of BREATHE-- Bar and Restaurant Employees Advocating Together for a Healthy Environment. ALL workers (including office, restaurant, bar, bingo, bowling, casino, tavern, pub, and nightclub workers) deserve a safe, healthy, smokefree work environment, because tobacco smoke causes cancer, respiratory illness, and heart disease. Congratulations to Canada for being a leader!"

Elvy Robichaud, New Brunswick's Health Minister, said Thursday that despite requests from tobacco interests to consider a three-month delay in the new law, he believes most people are ready and willing to quit smoking in public areas. "New Brunswickers have been waiting for this legislation," Robichaud said.

"It's not contentious . . . By Oct. 1, everyone will be breathing easier in New Brunswick."

"My hope is this will be the end of secondhand smoke as a workplace issue across the country quite soon," said Francis Thompson, a policy analyst with NSRA, a Canadian health group. "We don't accept other workplace contaminants. Why should we accept secondhand smoke?"

Health Minister Jim Rondeau said there are no plans to hire additional enforcement staff. Officers will instead focus on specific complaints. "I think what will happen is most people will understand the reason for clean indoor air and most people will not subject their employees to second-hand smoke."

To win smokefree air where you live, go to http://www.smokefree.net/alerts.php

Joseph W. Cherner

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the

world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

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