first_imgHEALTH PROMOTION -More Support for Nova Scotians to Quit Smoking In addition to the workplace program and expanded website, thepublic awareness campaign also includes a number of otherinitiatives — television ads, print ads, and a high schoolprogram — that will help ensure the tobacco reduction messagereaches communities across the province. “It’s the combination of messages delivered through various formsthat will give Nova Scotians the information they need to decideto quit smoking,” said Ms. Hoddinott. Nova Scotia’s Tobacco Control Strategy, introduced in October2001, is a seven-part plan that focuses on legislation andpolicy, tobacco pricing and taxation, treatment and cessation,monitoring and evaluation, community initiatives, school-basedprograms and public awareness. Nova Scotians will now have two more resources to help them makethe decision to quit smoking. Today, March 15, the Office ofHealth Promotion launched a Sick of Smoke workplace program andunveiled an updated anti-smoking website, www.sickofsmoke.com .The workplace program and website are two components of thecomprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy. “We are committed to our strategy to help Nova Scotians livehealthier, smoke-free lives,” said Health Promotion MinisterRodney MacDonald. “This workplace program and the new website aretwo additional pieces of the overall strategy that will helpraise awareness of the help that is available to quit smoking sowe can continue the downward trend of smoking in this province.” The workplace program will help employers throughout Nova Scotiamake their workplace a smoke-free environment and improve localbusiness. Smoking costs the Nova Scotian economy $396 millionannually in productivity losses due to premature death andabsenteeism. Unscheduled smoke breaks costs Nova Scotia employers$208 million a year in lost wages. If Nova Scotians reduced theirunscheduled smoke breaks by half, they would contribute $6.2million worth of productive hours per year to the economy. The program outlines how small steps by employers can result inhuge benefits. It suggests presenting facts about smoking andoffering resources and programs to support employees who wouldlike to stop smoking. Local tobacco control co-ordinators willpromote the workplace program and supports its implementationwithin their communities. Valerie Payne is president of the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber ofCommerce. She said that the Sick of Smoke Workplace Program is asimple, effective document that can help chamber members and allbusinesses begin down the road towards healthy employees and ahealthy bottom line. “The chamber is pleased to see the province taking such apositive step in the fight against smoking in Nova Scotianworkplaces,” said Ms. Payne. “For the last three years thechamber has worked to raise awareness about the benefits – bothfrom a health and monetary perspective – that wellness in theworkplace will bring to our members.” While the workplace program targets Nova Scotia businesses, anupdated anti-smoking website also reaches out to the province’syouth. In addition to information on the tobacco industry and thehazards of smoking, sickofsmoke.com now includes an onlinenewsletter, a bulletin board that allows people to share thoughtsand opinions on smoking, e-cards to send to others and the newanti-smoking television ads now airing across the province. “The Internet is a great medium for reaching our target audience – young adults,” said Nancy Hoddinott, tobacco strategy manager.”The information on sickofsmoke.com is helping Nova Scotia’syouth make informed decisions about smoking by presenting themwith hard facts.”last_img read more