Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

RNAO response to proposed regulation under Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

RNAO response to proposed regulation under Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

RNAO welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) on proposed regulation under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.

RNAO support for comprehensive end-game strategy

Smoking continues to kill about 13,000 Ontarians per year and costs the province $8.95 billion in direct health costs and indirect costs such as lost income and productivity.  Following the 2017 report of the Executive Steering Committee on Smoke-Free Ontario Modernization, of which RNAO was a member, Ontario has the opportunity to continue its national and international leadership in tobacco control by being the "first to adopt and implement an ambitious, comprehensive, integrated, multi-level 'end-game' strategy –consistent with international best practices for tobacco control."  This strategy seeks to reduce regular (daily and occasional) smoking prevalence in Ontario from 17.4 per in 2017, to 11 per cent by 2023, to eight per cent by 2028, and less than five per cent by 2035.  With these targets, the number of smoking-related deaths would be reduced by 4,900 per year (98,000 by 2035).  This comprehensive strategy includes goals to substantially reduce tobacco use in Ontario, regulate and limit access to the supply of tobacco and other harmful inhaled substances, and reduce exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco and other inhaled products.

It is completely unacceptable that over the last 10 years, the size of Ontario's tobacco crops has nearly tripled.  Ontario cannot attempt to protect its own citizens and at the same time export disability and death to people living in other jurisdictions. Thus RNAO would like to highlight the recommendation by the Executive Steering Committee for a mandatory timeline (5 to 10 years) to phase out tobacco production on non-Indigenous land along with the development of crop replacements.

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