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January 17, 2018
Smoke is smoke – limit your exposure to it
Public Health celebrates National Non-Smoking Week with a reminder about the dangers of smoking, whether it’s tobacco, cannabis or a hookah pipe

Whether it comes from tobacco, cannabis (marijuana) or a hookah pipe, smoke is smoke, and you need to limit your exposure to it. That’s Oxford County Public Health’s main message as it joins health organizations across the province and the country in celebrating National Non-Smoking Week, which runs through Saturday, January 21st.

Established in 1977 by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, National Non-Smoking Week is a national event designed to inform and educate Canadians about the dangers of tobacco use, to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and to support those who currently use tobacco, to quit.

Analysis of tobacco and cannabis smoke has shown they contain thirty-three known cancer-causing chemicals in common; these substances are on California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.

The smoke from a hookah pipe can also cause serious health risks, similar to those posed by tobacco and cannabis smoke. Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke flavoured specialty-made tobacco and herbal shisha. The charcoal used to heat the product produces very high levels of carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

The Health Unit recommends everyone limit their exposure to tobacco, cannabis and hookah smoke. It is especially important for children, pregnant women, older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma, lung and heart diseases. For more information, visit



Gemma Urbani, Tobacco Co-ordinator, Oxford County Public Health
“Many people are not aware of the health risks associated with exposure to cannabis smoke. Some of these risks are similar to the effects of smoking tobacco and can include risks to lung health, including the potential for bronchitis, lung infections, chronic (long-term) cough and an increased mucus buildup in the throat.”



  • Tobacco use is the number one cause of death and preventable illness in Ontario.
  • Tobacco is a highly addictive substance which makes it very difficult for tobacco users to quit or cut back.
  • Tobacco use causes manyhealth issuesincluding shortness of breath, stained teeth and gums, impotence, cancer, health and heart and lung disease.
  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act ensures that non-smokers are protected from harmful exposure to second-hand smoke in all enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places.Read more about the Act and the rules associated with it.


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About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to becoming a zero waste community and achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit or follow our social media sites at Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at



Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 |