WHITEHORSE – A campaign informing Yukoners of their responsibilities under the new Smoke-free Places Act and Regulation will begin this week, Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart announced today.
Information packages have been sent to Yukon businesses informing them of their responsibilities under the act and regulation, and providing them with signs to place in and around their businesses. In addition, a public education campaign will run in local newspapers and on radio informing all Yukoners of what the act means to them.
“The public education campaign will go a long way toward helping Yukoners – both smokers and non-smokers – understand the act and regulation, and how the new law will affect them,” Hart said. “In particular, we will be working with local businesses to ensure they understand their responsibilities.”
While business owners have responsibilities, so do smokers. The act and regulation stipulates where people can and cannot smoke. All enclosed public spaces must be smoke-free, including workplaces of more than one individual and public vehicles such as taxis and work vehicles carrying more than one person. In addition, the legislation prohibits smoking within five metres of all doorways, windows and air intakes.
“The act is an important step in reducing Yukoners’ exposure to second-hand smoke, and building healthier communities for all Yukoners,” Hart added. “This information campaign is focusing on education. We want to ensure first and foremost that Yukoners and business owners clearly understand their responsibilities. Most Yukoners want to abide by the law but first they need to know what the law is.”
The Yukon government offers assistance to smokers who want to reduce or stop smoking now or in the near future. The sessions are offered in Whitehorse, the communities, and via Telehealth. For information on any of these services, call Health Promotion at 1-800-661-0408 extension 8392.
For more information on the act and regulation, visit www.hss.gov.yk.ca or contact the Department of Health and Social Services at 1-800-661-0408 extension 8321.