Ottawa funds local projects to stop Canadians from smoking

Daryl Kramp, Member of Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, $125,000 in funding to the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit for a project that will help expectant moms and new mothers make healthy living choices. This project is in addition to the new funding announced on World No Tobacco Day (May 31) by Minister Aglukkaq to support a variety of tobacco initiatives and activities across Canada. Since August 2009, Health Canada has invested over $6.3 million in new funding and continues to support other on-going projects aimed at reducing tobacco use among Canadians.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting its people from the proven health hazards associated with tobacco use,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Today’s funding is another example of how we are helping health professionals assist pregnant and postpartum women to stop smoking.”

Funding from today’s announcement will facilitate training for nurses and physicians from the Central Hastings Family Health Team on cessation interventions to assist pregnant and postpartum women who smoke. It will also provide opportunities to engage local stakeholders in order to identify and eliminate barriers that limit the delivery of effective cessation services for this group.

“I am pleased to be part of this announcement,” said Mr. Kramp. “This training is an important step towards reducing tobacco use. This project will allow health professionals to support women in making informed decisions about their health.”

The Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit provides programs and services that help their clients achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention.

“This funding will also allow us to conduct focus groups with pregnant women & health professionals to determine the barriers to successful cessation,” said Nicole McKinnon, Director, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention from the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit. “We look forward to the implementation of this important program.”

In addition to other target populations, the Government of Canada continues to reach out to pregnant women about the dangers of tobacco use and second-hand smoke. When a pregnant woman smokes, the fetus gets less oxygen and nutrients. Studies show that regular exposure to second-hand smoke may harm both the mother and the baby. It is encouraging that fewer Canadian women smoke when pregnant, but those who do place themselves and their babies at increased risk.

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