Smoke-Free Nova Scotia
The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Nova Scotia is a provincial coalition committed to the reduced use of tobacco industry products and their harms in Nova Scotia.
This website provides information and resources to help increase public awareness of tobacco and health issues. Please use the menu on the left to explore the website.
For further information please contact us directly
Bill 90 puts the health of Nova Scotians first
April 28, 2015 (Halifax) - Smoke-Free Nova Scotia (SFNS) applauds the Government's decision to protect our children from starting to use flavoured tobacco products the tobacco industry has designed to make the first tobacco experiences as pleasurable as possible.
Menthol is the most popular flavour used by Nova Scotia's youth. Half of the 3,600 Nova Scotia students aged 15-19 who use flavoured tobacco smoke menthol cigarettes (1,800).This is 1 in 3 students who smoke using menthol. Compare this to 1 in 25 Canadian adults who report they smoke menthol cigarettes.
"In a 2010 survey, one in three Canadians of all ages who smoke menthol said they would quit smoking entirely if menthol cigarettes were not available - making it clear that banning the sale of menthol products through Bill 90 will also help Nova Scotians to quit smoking," said Sharon MacIntosh, Past President of SFNS. Read more here.
Smoke-Free Nova Scotia Law Amendments Submission Regarding Bill 90, April 22, 2015
SFNS strongly supports the ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products, and commends the Government's leadership in including menthol in the ban.
Smoke-Free Nova Scotia (SFNS) is a coalition of 28 health-related organizations committed to reduced use of tobacco industry products and their harms.
For almost 40 years, SFNS has advocated for evidence-based, comprehensive tobacco control strategies and legislation. SFNS continually reviews emerging evidence. The information in this submission comes from the most credible sources of tobacco control research and the same survey data used to inform decision making by provincial and national governments.
The proposed legislation coming into on effect May 31, 2015, would once again position Nova Scotia as a leader in public health tobacco control by preventing the addiction, diseases and deaths from the use of tobacco industry products. The legislation is particularly important for our youth, and would also reduce the same negative health impacts on adults. As a result, Nova Scotia would also be the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a menthol ban.
Laws against selling tobacco to minors have not prevented youth from accessing flavoured or traditional tobacco. In the latest report of Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends 2014, high-school aged Canadians reported that 43% bought cigarettes from a small grocery/convenience store, 26% got them for free from a family member/friend, and 16% bought cigarettes from a gas station. As health advocates, our primary goals are to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and to protect the health of all Nova Scotians from the proven health risks of tobacco use.
The tobacco industry (along with its product distributors and local retailers) has consistently demonstrated their goal is to derail, weaken or delay any legislation that could lower tobacco sales or financial gains.
We applaud the Government for the swift implementation date of May 31, 2015. Given the evidence before us, it is prudent to eliminate access to flavoured tobacco products as soon as possible.
This submission provides our evidence for supporting Bill 90, along with comments about exemptions and implementation.
The ban on the sale of all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol, will protect the health of all Nova Scotians, especially youth and women who often use menthol products.
The potential impact of Bill 90 on youth is huge. It will reduce the likelihood they will try tobacco products, transition to regular tobacco use and then have to battle their nicotine addiction when they want to quit, usually as adults.
Bill 90 as written will support youth in avoiding the lasting cognitive and behaviour changes nicotine causes in adolescent brain development. They will also be able to avoid the tobacco-related risks of heart and lung diseases, cancer and early death.
Read more of the Submission, here.
January 21, 2015
HELPING TO INCREASE ACCESS TO SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING
WEBSITE HELPS NOVA SCOTIANS FIND SMOKE-FREE HOUSING
January 21, 2015 (HALIFAX, NS) Nova Scotians searching for a smoke-free apartment or condo have a new resource at their fingertips now that SmokeFreeHousingNS.ca has been launched province wide by Smoke-Free Nova Scotia. The free website includes a searchable registry of smoke-free multi-unit housing to help apartment-hunters and condo buyers find a smoke-free home. The website also supports landlords, property managers, condo developers and corporations to create, and then, promote their smoke-free multi-unit buildings.
SmokeFreeHousingNS.ca is a result of a 2008 public opinion poll and public consultation hosted by Smoke-Free Nova Scotia (SFNS) that showed Nova Scotians were concerned about second-hand smoke coming into their units and most would choose a smoke-free building if it was available. They recommended a central registry of smoke-free multi-unit housing in the province to increase access to smoke-free housing and to raise awareness of the positive health and economic benefits of smoke-free housing.
"It is well documented that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and other diseases, but exposure to second-hand smoke also causes disease and death," said SFNS Smoke-Free Multi-unit Housing Workgroup chairperson Sharon MacIntosh. Second-hand smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 that are known to cause cancer; there is no known safe level of exposure. As Nova Scotians become more aware of the health hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke the demand for smoke-free, multi-unit housing is increasing.
Second-hand smoke moves from smoking units to smoke-free units through building ventilation, electrical outlets, open doors and windows, and around plumbing. Air sealing, improved ventilation and air purifiers only reduce exposure; the only way to remove the health risks is to ban smoking.
Condo owner Noelle David says aside from the positive benefits to your health, living in a smoke-free building makes it easier to enjoy your home and to entertain.
"When smoke from another unit enters your living space it has a tremendously negative impact on your health and the health of anyone who happens to visit your home," said Ms. David. "It can fully take away the enjoyment and comfort you expect to experience in your own unit."
Peter Polley, landlord and owner of the Polycorp Properties Limited Mont Blanc apartment buildings in Halifax, says that operating a smoke-free building makes his property stand apart from the competition and attracts both peoople who smoke and non-smokers. "By providing a smoke-free building, we are able to cater to a large number of people who, for a variety of reasons, want to live in a smoke-free building, so that lets us stand apart from most other buildings in the area," said Mr. Polley. "We don't limit our properties to non-smokers - we have a large number of people who smoke, however we emphasize that they must go outdoors and it's been relatively easy to enforce. People who smoke want good properties to stay in and we have a good property. Because it is a rule in the lease they initial, our tenants know they must go outside if they chose to smoke."
Smoke-Free Nova Scotia Fact Sheet on E-Cigarettes, Waterpipes and Flavoured Tobacco Products Now Available
November 17, 2014
Excerpt from Fact Sheet...
E-cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
Electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are devices that vaporize and deliver a chemical mixture, sometimes called e-juice, to the lungs of the user. This mixture usually contains nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals, although some products claim to contain no nicotine. Each device contains an electronic vaporization system, batteries, electronic controls and cartridges of the liquid that is vaporized. Most devices look like tobacco products (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, water pipes). Some look like memory sticks and pens.
Smoke-Free Nova Scotia's position on proposed changes to Nova Scotia's Smoke Free Places Act.
November 17, 2014
The Nova Scotia Government has been debating changes to the Smoke Free Places Act.Â President Krista McMullin presents Smoke-Free Nova Scotia's position on the proposed changes to Law Ammendments.
Madame Chairperson, Members of the Committee:
My name is Krista McMullin. As the President of Smoke Free Nova Scotia, I'm here to show support for Bill 60. We're pleased with the amendments proposed to the Smoke-Free Places Act and the Tobacco Access Act as they take some important steps in Â protecting the health of all Nova Scotians and in particular our youth. We'd also like to make some suggestions as to how the bill can be further enhanced.
Smoke-Free Nova Scotia (SFNS) is a coalition of 28 health-related organizations committed to reduced use of tobacco industry products and their harms in Nova Scotia. For almost 40 years SFNS has advocated for evidence-based, comprehensive tobacco control strategies and legislation in Nova Scotia. Since 2000, Nova Scotia has been a leader in effective tobacco control legislation with other provinces, territories and countries following our lead. The opportunity for the Government to continue this leadership exists today.
For years, SFNS has worked with government, NGO’s, community and the general public to fight the impact of ‘Big Tobacco’ in our society. Together, through a comprehensive approach of education, smoking cessation, policy and legislation, Â we have had great success in reducing smoking rates. But despite the gains we have made, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Traditional cigarette smoking remains the most significant and preventable cause of chronic disease today. Â We know that smoking tobacco kills and millions of current smokers will die prematurely from their smoking unless they quit. This burden falls predominantly on the most disadvantaged in Canadian society.
It’s especially the evidence regarding the significant and recent increased use of electronic cigarettes, waterpipes/hookah and flavoured tobacco products by children and youth that brings SFNS to support Bill 60.
Seeing adults using cigarettes normalizes smoking behaviour for youth. With their appearance mimicking that of regular cigarettes, E-cigarettes renormalizesmoking. They also increase the attractiveness of smoking behaviour to our youth.
Understandably this is a real concern to SFNS, as it is for parents, for the health care system and for government.If strong regulations are not put in place, E-cigarettes could become the gateway to tobacco smoking and a lifetime addiction to nicotine.
If there wasn't a strong connection between e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes why would the tobacco companies be buying e-cigarette companies? We know tobacco companies don’t want people who smoke to quit but rather to continue to smoke their addictive product. At this point in time, there is not sufficient scientific evidence that supports e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. In keeping with Health Canada advisory for Canadians not to use e-cigarettes and the World Health Organization's calling for strict regulation on e-cigarettes, SFNS supports Bill 60 in that e-cigarettes should be banned in places where tobacco smoking is banned in Nova Scotia.
According to the latest national study on flavoured tobacco and youth (by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact-University of Waterloo), nearly half of all tobacco users in Grade 6-12 in Atlantic Canada are using flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, Â (47%) in the previous days.
Waterpipe/hookah products are currently growing in popularity, especially amongst youth.Â Contrary to popular belief, cigarette smoke and waterpipe smoke contain many of the same harmful chemicals. The water in a waterpipe does not filter out these chemicals. Whether the materials being smoked using a wateripe contain tobacco or not, they are emitting harmful chemicals into the air. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
The notion that water pipe/hookah smoking is only a cultural tradition is incorrect. Many countries with a predominantly Muslim population (e.g. Turkey, Djibouti) have banned all waterpipe/hookah smoking in public and work places. Nearly half of all Nova Scotia tobacco users in grades 6-12 used flavoured tobacco. Of those who used waterpipes/hookah, 28% used flavoured waterpipe products. Waterpipe/hookah smoking provides an opportunity to gather and socialize with friends. Many youth who are too young to get into bars use this as an attractive option.
E-cigarettes, waterpipes/hookahs and their use will undermine efforts to eliminate smoking in Canada. However legislation in Nova Scotia on flavours will make e-cigarettes, waterpipes/hookahs much less appealing to youth. In previous years, there have been numerous studies done on tobacco advertising and the increased consumption that advertising has on youth. It only makes sense that e-cigarettes and waterpipes/hookahs advertising be treated the same as conventional cigarettes by eliminating any point-of-sale promotion, sales to minors (youth under 19) and by keeping them out of view.
For many years the Tobacco Industry has been flooding the market with "kiddy candy" and alcohol flavoured tobacco. These products are clearly marketed toward our youth. The Centre for Disease Control’s Surgeon General report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, 2012 states the tobacco industry recruits "replacement smokers" from youth and young adults. Tobacco marketing has the greatest impact on kids, the "replacement smokers" the industry needs for all the Nova Scotians who die every year from tobacco-related diseases. Let's be clear here. Big Tobacco’s only interest is increased profits for their shareholders. They have little or no interest in the health of Nova Scotians.
All tobacco products have flavoured options. This is including, but not limited to, tobacco papers, chewing tobacco, snus, snuff, e-juice, waterpipe/hookah, shisha, blunts, and so on.It is important these products are included in the list of products covered by the ban on flavourings.
Because it has been on the market for many years, people sometimes don’t think of menthol as a flavour. However it really is the ‘flavour’ that started the tobacco industry on this road of flavoured tobacco.The University of Waterloo latest study found that 34% of our youth (Grades 6-12) smoked menthol cigarettes in the previous 30 days. This is clearly a flavour that our youth like. We do not know of any other flavour that has this much of an impact. We know that many adult smokers who started in their youth started with menthol cigarettes. Bill 60 states that no flavoured tobacco products except menthol will be sold in Nova Scotia. You could strengthen the bill even more by including menthol in the list of banned flavours. This would protect our youth even more.
SFNS realizes that many vendors will need time to adjust to the new rules. However we feel that it is critical that the proclamation date be set after the third reading to ensure the integrity of Bill 60. We urge the government to set the date now. Any delay is likely to result in the comprehensive legislation being watered down over time, as seems to be happening in Alberta, thanks to inevitable lobbying of the tobacco industry.
Thank you for giving SFNS an opportunity to express our support, our concerns and our recommendations regarding Bill 60. If I may quote, Nova Scotia's health vision, "Healthy people, healthy communities for generations," this is the place to start. Even Nova Scotia's mission statement talks about health, healing and learning, it would be foolish for us to not to apply learnings from the past. We urge you to once again make Nova Scotia a leader in tobacco control
Krista McMullin, President
Government of Nova Scotia proclaims the Nova Scotia Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act
September 26, 2014
Smoke Free Nova Scotia applauds the Liberal Government as they announce steps to launch a lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
The Government of Nova Scotia has proclaimed The Nova Scotia Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. This enables the province to launch legal action against the tobacco industry to recover the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses resulting from unlawful activities to increase tobacco use.
"It is great to see that Nova Scotia is joining other Canadian provinces in pursuing legal action to recover health care costs from tobacco manufacturers," SFNS President Krista McMullin said. "This Act gives the government the legal authority to launch a lawsuit on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia."
Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in Nova Scotia. While the lawsuit will seek cost recovery, it is hoped that lawsuit recovery monies will be allocated to sustain and advance our comprehensive tobacco control efforts here in the province. These recovery monies could protect Nova Scotians from the harms of the tobacco industry, reduce smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke especially among our youth population as well as make cessation support available to those trying to quit. "It is time that we hold the tobacco industry accountable for the damaging effects of its products on the health of all Nova Scotians," McMullin said. "Reducing tobacco use demands a comprehensive and a sustained effort."
Smoke Free Housing NS Website seeks Smoke Free buildings for free registry