Jan. 21, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The province will observe National Non-Smoking Week from Jan. 18 to 24.
The theme of this year's campaign, co-ordinated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, is, What have you got to lose? Tobacco-free living is one of the four pillars of the provincial wellness strategy.
"We recognize the negative affects that smoking and second-hand smoke have on our population, and we are working proactively with many partners to increase awareness and reduce the number of smokers in New Brunswick," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. "I encourage all New Brunswickers to recognize what they have to lose and to consider taking steps to live healthier lifestyles."
Public Safety Minister John W. Foran reminded New Brunswickers that smoking-related fire deaths account for about half of all loss of life due to fires in the home.
"Smoking has been the Number 1 cause of fire deaths for decades in Canada," Foran said. "However, fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable. If people must smoke, they should be doing it more safely."
Between 2004 and 2006, the number of fires caused in the province by smokers' materials, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars and/or matches and lighters when used in conjunction with smoking, increased to 71 from 38.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs estimates that careless smoking causes 70 deaths and 300 injuries annually.
"I strongly encourage New Brunswickers not to smoke or to adopt safe practices when smoking," Foran said. "This will certainly help in reducing the number of smoking-related fires and building a safer New Brunswick on our way to self-sufficiency."
Information on the New Brunswick Fire Service, fire prevention and education is available at the Office of the Fire Marshal website, www.gnb.ca/0276/fire/index-e.asp. More information on National Non-Smoking Week is at www.nnsw.ca.
Counselling to quit smoking is available through the smokers' helpline at 1-877-513-5333.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Statistics on smoking-related fires follow. MEDIA CONTACTS: Daniel Lessard, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267; Danielle McFarlane, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.
Statistics on fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials in New Brunswick
|Year||Number of fires||Number of injuries||Number of deaths|