At Halton Region, we make it a priority to enhance the health and well-being of all residents through the programs and services we offer through our Health and Social and Community Services departments. For many, the New Year is a time for healthy change, and for smokers, quitting is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and quality of life.
To quit smoking, more and more people are turning to e-cigarettes. These battery-operated devices often look like cigarettes and deliver a mix of chemicals to users as vapour instead of smoke. However, e-cigarettes are unproven as a quit-smoking aid, and for teens and young adults, may even be a gateway to nicotine addiction and future smoking with regular cigarettes or other tobacco products.
On January 1, 2016, the Electronic Cigarettes Act came into effect in Ontario, banning the sale of e-cigarettes in Ontario to anyone under the age of 19. Halton Region tobacco enforcement staff is responsible for enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) and the Electronic Cigarettes Act. The Region’s enforcement officers also promote the provincial NOT TO KIDS! program by:
- working with local school boards to educate staff, students and parents about the SFOA in relation to the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to anyone under 19;
- educating retailers about the requirements under the SFOA; and
- monitoring the sales of tobacco products to minors by conducting routine tobacco test shopping.
We recognize that quitting smoking can be tough, but there are better choices than e-cigarettes. To help, Halton Region provides many cessation resources and supports, including:
- online resources for Tobacco Free Living;
- the Stop Smoking Clinic where healthcare professionals will assess your lifestyle and design a personalized method of quitting free of charge;
- how to create a “quit plan” and deal with cravings;
- links to smokers’ helplines; and
- information and tools for healthcare providers.
We can improve the overall health and well-being of our community by making safer and healthier choices, including quitting smoking. By working together with our community partners and retailers, we can keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.