Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in Canada. Each year, tobacco use is responsible for about one-third of all cancers and an estimated 13,000 deaths in Ontario. There is no safe level of tobacco use or exposure to second-hand smoke. By quitting or not starting, serious illness and death can be prevented.
Common types of tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, blunt wraps, hookahs, chew, dip, snuff and snus.
In Northwestern Ontario, the rate of smoking is about the same as the provincial average.
The Northwestern Health Unit works to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco, protect people from second-hand smoke, and can help tobacco users quit. The following programs and services are offered by the health unit:
- Providing opportunities for tobacco users to make quit attempts.
- Counselling and resources for smokers who want to quit.
- Cessation counselling training for people who want to help smokers quit.
- Engaging youth volunteers in tobacco-free activities.
- Hosting events aimed at denormalizing the tobacco industry.
- Enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
- Supporting smoke-free spaces by-laws.
- Supporting smoke-free outdoor space by-laws and smoke-free housing.
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