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Health Unit speaks out about smoking in movies

SIMCOE, MAY 26, 2011 – May 31st is World No Tobacco Day and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, a member of the Ontario Coalition for Smoke Free Movies, is raising awareness about the serious public health issue of smoking in movies and the effects it has on young people starting to smoke.

“The evidence is clear – the more youth see smoking in the movies, the more likely they are to start,” said Josh Daley, Health Promoter with the Health Unit. “We can prevent youth smoking by limiting the influence of smoking on screen.”

Tobacco use causes 30 per cent of all cancers and accounts for 13,000 deaths in Ontario each year. A recent Ipsos Reid poll shows that Ontarians have some understanding of the risks associated with smoking in the movies and are supportive of action being taken on this issue


”Nearly three in four people in Ontario are supportive of smoking being removed from youth-rated movies,” mentioned Daley. “That means getting tobacco use and exposure out of movies rated G, PG and 14A to protect Ontario youth.”

Public Health Units across Ontario have endorsed the solutions, recommended by the World Health Organization, to the problem of smoking in the movies. This includes removing tobacco use and promotion from youth-rated movies and having strong anti-smoking advertisements before any movies featuring smoking.

“At the start of the summer blockbuster movies season we want to ensure that youth and their parents are aware of the influence that smoking in movies can have,” said Daley.


The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit wants youth and their parents to learn more about smoking in the movies and show their support for removing tobacco from youth rated films by visitingwww.smokefreemovies.caand choose “Act Now”.
Every Thursday, the smoking statuses of newly released movies, both in theatre and on DVD, are listed


The Ontario Coalition for Smoke- Free Movies was formed in May of 2010 to take collective action to counter the harmful impact of smoking in movies. Members of the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-free Movies include the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association / Smoking and Health Action Foundation, Ontario Lung Association, Physicians for a Smoke -Free Canada, and the seven Ontario Tobacco Control Area Networks.


[1] These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. A total of n=812 Ontarians 18+ were interviewed using Ipsos’ online omnibusMarch 25-30, 2011. Data was weighted by region, age, and gender to ensure the sample matched the actual adult population ofOntario. The margin of error for this study is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.



Media contact:
Josh Daley
Health Promoter – Healthy Environment Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 ext. 3256
[email protected]