St. Joseph CES Douro recognized as Tobacco-Wise Champion

June 4, 2019

During the seventh annual World No Tobacco Day celebrations on May 31, 2019,  Peterborough Public Health recognized several local residents and organizations for their leadership in creating a tobacco-wise community including St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Douro.

St. Joseph CES earned a Prevention Award, which is awarded to schools or organizations using innovative methods to prevent students, youth and young adults from starting to use tobacco products and support them in quitting smoking and/or remaining tobacco-wise.

“We always have such an impressive range of community partners deserving of this recognition, and this year it was wonderful to include representatives from the County of Peterborough,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.

“World No Tobacco Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the growing number of local public health champions whose efforts connect us to the larger global movement to address the tobacco epidemic.”

There were a total of 11 awards handed out to local townships, educational institutions, healthcare services, businesses, and community organizations.

Dr. Salvaterra noted that smoking commercial tobacco is the primary cause for lung cancer, responsible for over two thirds of lung cancer deaths globally. In Peterborough, between 2003 and 2010, there were an estimated 706 lung cancer deaths among people aged 35 and older attributable to smoking.

Put another way, she explained that this meant 85% of all lung cancer deaths in this period were a result of smoking. “Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the work place also increases risk of lung cancer,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “Commercial tobacco smoke contains over 7 000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Though smoke may be invisible and odourless, it can linger in the air for up to five hours, putting those exposed at risk of lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and reduced lung function.”

Photo: St. Joseph CES Douro principal Julie Selby, right, poses with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra and fellow award recipient Mike Ivey from Adam Scott Collegiate in Peterborough.