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July 10
Tobacco control: A spotlight on protection


Family with baby

In early May, we launched the new Evidence to Guide Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario (2016) report, which provides a comprehensive assessment of 56 tobacco control interventions and highlights their impact on reducing tobacco use and associated burden in Ontario. The report is organized into four main chapters which align with the four pillars of tobacco control: industry, prevention, protection and cessation.

The Protection chapter outlines 10 tobacco control interventions and their role in protecting people from physical and social exposures. The chapter was written by a working group made up of tobacco prevention scientists and experts and led by Dr. Pamela Kaufman, Scientist with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, and Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health​, University of Toronto

“We know from the scientific literature that tobacco smoke is harmful to our health,” says Dr. Kaufman. “Yet Ontarians are still exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke in their homes and vehicles, in some outdoor public places and workplace settings, and on post-secondary campuses.”

The Prevention chapter examines how creating tobacco-free and clean air environments protect people from the harms of tobacco smoke. Smoke-free laws and related policies, such as the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2016) are integral to comprehensive tobacco control.

“In addition to protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke, there is evidence that smoke-free policies support people who are trying to quit or have recently quit by reducing physical and social cues for smoking,” explains Dr. Kaufman. “They also help to prevent youth from starting to smoke by reducing social exposure to smoking and changing social norms about smoking.”   

Importance of the Protection chapter

This chapter can be used to:

  • ​highlight policy gaps and opportunities where Ontarians are still exposed (e.g., multi-unit housing, entrances to buildings, post-secondary campuses)
  • support a comprehensive approach to tobacco control by encouraging and sustaining attempts at quitting and changing social norms which influence tobacco use among young people
  • understand the integration of other products such as waterpipes and e-cigarettes into smoke-free policies

More information on the report

To read the full report or view a recording of the webcast showcasing highlights from the report, please visit the Evidence to Guide Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario (2016) webpage. 

Check out our posts on industry and prevention and stay tuned to our PHO in Action​ blog for more chapter spotlights.


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