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January 21, 2004
Ontario Quit Smoking Contest launched on Weedless Wednesday
Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Board of Health, joined Dr. Sheela Basrur,
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, and Peter Fonseca, MPP and Parliamentary
Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care today to launch a
province-wide quit smoking contest.

The contest, featuring a grand prize of a BMW Mini Cooper, is just one of
several cessation and regulatory initiatives being promoted during National
Non-Smoking Week, Jan. 18-24.

The City of Toronto is also preparing for the final phase of the no-smoking
by-law. On June 1st public places including bars, bingo halls and the race
track will become smoke-free.

"The evidence is clear - second hand smoke is a preventable health risk. We
need to take the next step by ensuring that access to smoke-free public space
becomes the new normal in a healthy society," said Councillor Filion.

Toronto Public Health is working with many community partners to promote
smoke-free homes, offer cessation clinics and educate retailers about tobacco
sales to minors.

"This contest is just one incentive to help people quit. I encourage all
smokers to take up the challenge because when it comes to your health, quitters
are winners," said Dr. Sheela Basrur.

Smokers must be smoke free for at least the month of March to be eligible to
win a prize in the Ontario Quit Smoking 2004 Contest. Prizes are provided by
Pfizer. Contest details are available at

Background information on smoking and the contest is available at

Media contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper
Toronto Public Health



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