Orazietti Recognizing Smoke-Free Accomplishments

David Orazietti, MPP and Helinä McGrath, RN, OFRA Executive Director of Care Services, receiving the Heather Crowe Award on behalf of the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association at Queen’s Park in Toronto

Today at Queen’s Park, to mark the 10 year anniversary of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association (OFRA) was presented with the Heather Crowe Award, in recognition of their work in promoting a smoke-free environment, announced David Orazietti MPP.

“Our community is fortunate to have so many dedicated individuals who are committed to a Smoke-Free Ontario, including the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association,” said Orazietti. “They are working tirelessly to protect our residents and workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, prevent youth from starting to smoke, and helping current smokers quit. I am pleased to recognize their efforts today at Queen’s Park.”

OFRA was selected as one of 10 recipients of the Heather Crowe Smoke-Free Ontario Award to recognize individuals, groups and organizations that have championed tobacco control in Ontario over the past 10 years. Heather Crowe was a non-smoker who developed lung cancer after being exposed to second-hand smoke in her workplace.

On May 31, 2013, OFRA implemented a 100 per cent smoke-free housing policy affecting all tenants who signed a new lease date thereafter to demonstrate commitment in promoting a smoke-free, healthy living environment for its staff, residents and visitors.

As one of the first facilities to establish smoke-free multi-unit housing in Algoma, their leadership raised the bar for other landlords across the district to consider implementing the same measure. To further protect its employees and residents from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, the association developed a comprehensive, 100 per cent smoke-free property policy on May 31, 2015, which inspired and enforced a cessation culture among its staff and residents who smoked. The smoke-free property policy involved the collaborative effort of staff and community partners, such as Algoma Public Health and Smoker’s Helpline, to offer resources, quit-smoking sessions and support for those who smoked to help comply with the new policy. As a result, smoking rates have dropped among staff who smoked and compliance has been high since the policy was first implemented.

“The Ontario-Finnish Resthome Association is extremely gratified to have been recognized for taking a step toward a smoke-free Ontario in being awarded the prestigious Heather Crowe Award,” said Paul Belair, Chief Executive Officer, OFRA. “The Board of Directors, management, staff and volunteers all wish to congratulate tenants, residents and stakeholders alike for their efforts in achieving our now 100% smoke free property.”

Ontario is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy with the launch of a new Cessation Action Plan that continues to support a smoke-free culture and will make it easier for Ontarians to quit smoking.

The Cessation Action Plan will create a province-wide approach to providing cessation services. It will build upon existing cessation investments and will include:

A cessation service network of coordinated supports, programs and services that provides ongoing support to tobacco users

An online cessation hub that is a centralized access point to help tobacco users navigate the system and find local services and cessation aids tailored to their needs
One phone number available to all Ontarians 24 hours a day and seven days a week, for quitline services, including coaching and counselling by phone and texting.

Promoting a smoke-free culture is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.


May 31, 2016, marks the 10th anniversary of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, which is also this year’s World No Tobacco Day.

In partnership with tobacco control service delivery organizations and tobacco control advocates across the province, smoking rates in Ontario have decreased from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 17.4 per cent in 2014. This represents about 408,250 fewer smokers.

Heather Crowe travelled across Canada to advocate for improved second-hand smoke by-laws. She passed away from lung cancer nine days before Smoke-Free Ontario legislation came into effect, on May 31, 2006.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy was launched in 2006 to reduce tobacco use and lower health risks to non-smokers in Ontario.

Public Health Units across the province are also hosting events on May 31, 2016, to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

In 2007 David Orazietti, MPP introduced Bill 11, “Protecting Children and Youth from Second-Hand Smoke in Automobiles Act, 2007.” The Bill was adopted by the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport and amended the Smoke Free Ontario Act in 2009