Seventy chairs in the cafeteria at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) were covered in black today, representing the 70 different known carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada. It is estimated that smoking is related to more than 85% of lung cancer cases in Canada.
The demonstration was part of the hospital’s launch of National Non-Smoking Week, a national, annual event that aims to raise awareness about tobacco use, quitting smoking, and how to support people to be smoke-free.
“National Non-Smoking Week is an excellent time for those who have quit to celebrate their successes and for those who smoke to learn how they can quit,” says Naomi McNeill, Senior Coordinator, Smokers’ Helpline, Northwestern Region. She was on-site at TBRHSC on January 19 along with Jim Morris, the Quit Coach, TBRHSC’s Tobacco Cessation Research Nurse, Veronica Proper, and representatives from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Cancer Care Ontario’s Tobacco-Wise Program.
The week also offers an opportunity to remind those visiting TBRHSC that all of its buildings and grounds, including parking lots, are smoke-free and are included in the City of Thunder Bay’s smoke-free by-law #052-2010.
“Our smoke-free grounds policy puts the health of our patients and families first,” says Kelly-Jo Gillis, Manager of Preventive Health Services. “TBRHSC strives to provide a healthy, smoke-free, and tobacco-free hospital environment and to ensure that those who work, visit, learn or receive care are not exposed to the health risks associated with second-hand smoke.”
Those who wish to smoke while at TBRHSC are asked to go to the Oliver Road or Golf Links
Road entrances to do so.
TBRHSC aims to provide quitting support and education to people who choose not to respect the policy. However, TBRHSC Security Guards and other enforcement agencies are able to issue fines in the amount of $305 for violation of the policy and the City of Thunder Bay Smoking Prohibition By-law # 052-2010 on hospital property.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, smokers are about 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more the risk increases. Smokers are also at a higher risk if they’re exposed to radon or certain chemicals in their home or workplace and continue to smoke. Most forms of lung cancer develop gradually and do not produce any symptoms until the disease is advanced. This makes it hard to find lung cancer early enough for a cure.
Smokers’ Helpline is encouraging tobacco users to make 2015 their healthiest year by quitting smoking and tobacco use. You can increase your chances of quitting smoking by calling Smokers’ Helpline or visiting our website. Another way you can quit is by joining the Driven to Quit Challenge for a chance to win a new car or cash prizes.
For more information on how you can quit or help someone to quit visit www.tbrhsc.net/smokefree
or call Smokers’ Helpline at: 1-877-513-5333.