Help Make N.S. Smoke Free

Smoke free workplaces and public places throughout Nova Scotia are a real
possibility.  In October 2001, at a provincial Tobacco Conference, Premier John Hamm and Health Minister Jamie Muir announced their commitment to introduce second-hand or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) legislation in the Spring 2002 sitting of the Legislature. Since then, community support has been overwhelming.

But it is still unclear what the exact scope of  provincial government's commitment will be. Will the legislation completely eliminate all exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in indoor public places and workplaces or will it allow partial bans and ventilated chambers?  Citizen input will be important to insure the legislation is as strong as possible.

Given all the scientific evidence compiled internationally, the only effective solution that protects health is one that provides for 100% smoke-free indoor public places and worksites. Anything less will not adequately address the problem of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Smoke-Free Nova Scotia believes that comprehensive legislation is a pivotal part of protecting people from secondhand tobacco smoke as well as reducing the number of   smokers. Smoke-free legislation has also been shown to play an important part in preventing youth smoking.

The most effective thing you can do to influence policy on this issue is to make sure your MLA knows you support legislation which would make all indoor public places and workplaces 100% smoke free.  The more personal your contact with your MLA is, the more effective it will be. Meeting with and having a personal discussion with your MLA is most effective, a telephone conversation with your MLA or one of his or her assistants is almost as good and a personal letter or email message is much more effective than a form letter or postcard.

If you need to be better informed before contacting your MLA, there are resources available from Smoke Free Nova Scotia.

"No If's And's or But's", Smoke-Free Nova Scotia's Policy Statement is available at their website: http://www.smokefreens.ca

They also have MLA contact information, fact sheets, sample letters, and a sample phone script. There are sample letters to the editor and two 3 minute Public Service Announcements for your local radio station which you can use.

In March, Smoke Free Nova Scotia will be holding skill-building workshops throughout the province to raise public awareness about the ill-effects of secondhand tobacco smoke and provide advocacy skills for healthy public policy.

For further information or to register for workshops contact Smoke-Free
Nova Scotia's Public Awareness Coordinator, Ms. Catherine Cole at (902)
435-4886 or email [email protected] or call Smoke-Free Nova Scotia at
1-866-777-7374.

For a list of phone numbers and email addresses for Nova Scotia MLAs
www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/contact/pubenq.stm

If you don't know who your MLA is, you can contact Access NS 1-800-670-4357