The provincial government is providing an additional $172,500 in 2005 to support the Sudbury and District Health Unit in co-ordinating programs which reduce smoking.
The Sudbury and District Health Unit will lead the collaboration with the other health units in developing programs that prevent smoking among youth, reducing smoking in general, and eliminating involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke.
A network co-ordinator and a youth specialist have been hired to lead these programs.
Sudbury and District Health Unit will be working with Algoma Health Unit, North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit, Porcupine Health Unit and Timiskaming Health Unit.
Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci made the announcement in a news release today on behalf of Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson.
?Public health units play a critical, front-line role in helping to make Ontario smoke-free,? said Bartolucci.
?The importance of smoke-free initiatives cannot be under-estimated. This is about helping to build a healthier future for area residents ? particularly our young people. We must work to foster healthy choices and habits within our youth now, so that they can carry those habits with them throughout their adulthood.?
This funding is part of $50 million the government is investing province-wide this year in its Smoke-Free Ontario Campaign ? the largest anti-smoking investment in the province?s history.
?Our Smoke-Free Ontario Campaign is protecting people from second-hand smoke, helping prevent young people from starting to smoke and giving people the tools they need to quit,? Watson said.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Campaign includes legislation to ban smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public places effective May 31, 2006, and will also phase out the display of tobacco products.
The Ministry of Health Promotion was established in June 2005 to improve and deliver programs that contribute to healthy living and wellness in this province. Key priority areas include Ontario?s Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, healthy active living, injury prevention and mental health.