A local clinic is among eight smoke-free champions recognized by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for this year’s World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
The North Muskoka Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Huntsville “is recognized as a smoke-free champion for implementing the Ottawa Model of Smoking Cessation in this primary care setting. The Ottawa Model is used to ensure the smoking status of every patient is identified and documented as a component of routine care. Patients are asked about tobacco use, advised of the benefits of quitting, assessed for readiness to quit, and provided treatment and follow-up to support long-term success. This team and its cessation clinician have shown exemplary commitment to best practice and continuing education in order to support every patient who wants to quit smoking,” the health unit said in a release.
“Programs that encourage and support quitting and policies that prevent youth from becoming addicted to smoking and vaping are extremely important for our communities,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka’s medical officer of health and head of the health unit.
“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.”
The other seven winners of the 2019 Smoke-Free Champion awards are: Georgian College, North Simcoe Family Health Team, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health, Georgian Bay General Hospital, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Granite Springs Condominiums, and Muskoka Falls Condominium Corp.
Dr. Gardner also acknowledged the work being done by municipal partners including the cities of Orillia and Barrie, the townships of Severn, Lake of Bays, and Essa as well as Huntsville, Innisfil, and Bradford West Gwillimbury which are in the process of, or have recently updated their bylaws to clear the air beyond the requirements of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
The health unit has been presenting the awards for more than 15 years to mark World No Tobacco Day and the efforts being made globally to minimize the death and diseases caused by tobacco industry products. Simcoe Muskoka Smoke-Free Award winners are nominated by their peers, community members and partners for their efforts to build healthier communities in Simcoe Muskoka.
A list of past winners is available on the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org
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