June 3, 2019 7:07 pm

Simcoe Muskoka health unit recognizes local landmarks for promoting smoke-, vape-free environment

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is recognizing a number of local landmarks for supporting a smoke- and vape-free environment, including Georgian College and the North Muskoka Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.

Georgian College has made all of its locations smoke- and vape-free, inclusive of e-cigarettes, hookah and cannabis.

READ MORE: Orillia bylaw banning smoking, vaping on municipal property takes effect

The health unit is also recognizing five local health organizations for implementing the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation, which identifies and documents the smoking status of every patient, taking steps to stop people from smoking.

“Programs that encourage and support quitting and policies that prevent youth from becoming addicted to smoking and vaping are extremely important for our communities,” Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka’s medical officer of health, said in a statement.

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The North Muskoka Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, the North Simcoe Family Health Team, the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health, the Georgian Bay General Hospital and the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital are the health organizations being recognized by the Simcoe Muskoka health unit for supporting a smoke- and vape-free environment.

“Nearly 4,000 of our residents are hospitalized every year for smoking-attributable illnesses, and close to 900 are dying. The sad fact is that these illnesses and deaths are completely preventable,” Gardner continued in a statement.

READ MORE: Ontario cuts funding to youth smoking cessation program, will close in June

The health unit is also acknowledging the Granite Spring Condominiums and the Muskoka Falls Condominium Corp. for going smoke-free.

Gardner recognized the work done by the cities of Barrie and Orillia, the townships of Severn, Lake of Bays and Essa, as well as the towns of Innisfil, Huntsville and Bradford West Gwillimbury, which are in the process of or already have updated their bylaws beyond the requirements of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

WATCH: Peterborough Public Health cracking down on vaping and e-cigarettes

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