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“Breathing Free” campaign launched

SIMCOE, ON, AUG. 28, 2007 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Heath Unit is encouraging employees to take action if their rights to a smoke-free work environment are not being upheld.

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario act, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed workplaces and the Health Unit is launching a “Breathing Free” campaign to raise awareness of the law.

“Breathing free at work is your right,” explained Tobacco Enforcement Officer Amy Jones. “The act is being enforced and all complaints will be investigated. People should feel comfortable about complaining because we will not reveal their names.”

People can file complaints or obtain more information by contacting the Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3202. Alternatively, people can call the smoke-free complaint line at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3278 and leave an anonymous message.

“When leaving a phone message, people need to let us know what factory or plant they’re talking about, where it is located and in what part of the shop the illegal smoking is taking place, such as the lunch room or storage room,” Jones noted.

Under the act, smoking is prohibited in bars, restaurants, offices, vehicles used for work purposes, and other enclosed places.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act protects those seeking enforcement from any negative action by an employer, including dismissal, threatening, intimidation or any other form of discipline.

The act also requires employers to post no smoking signs on all entrances and exists and on all washrooms. Free no smoking signs and information on appropriate smoking shelters are available from the Health Unit.

Media Contact:
Amy Jones, Tobacco Enforcement Officer, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, 519-426-6170 Ext. 3202 or Glen Steen, Program Coordinator, Healthy Environment Team, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, 519-426-6170 Ext. 3204.