Celebrating Ottawa's Smoke-Free Champions the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival on World No Tobacco Day

Monday, April 02, 2012

Tonight on World No Tobacco Day, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) will recognize the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival  (THODBF) as a Smoke-Free Champion for making its festival smoke-free. Four years ago, it was the first festival in Ottawa to become voluntarily smoke-free. The leadership of their Board of Directors and Executive Director John Brooman have created an annual smoke-free event for both adults and children to enjoy. 

"The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a true pioneer in promoting the health and wellness of participants and spectators at an event. Leaders like the Dragon Boat Festival have demonstrated solid support when the City enacted new smoke-free regulations in City parks, beaches and municipal properties on April 2, 2012", said Councillor Maria McRae, member of the Board of Health.

"We are also receiving positive feedback from organizers of other festivals and events taking place on non-municipal properties. Studies show that smoke-free spaces can reduce smoking rates, youth initiation rates and increase quit attempts. They have also been associated with improved health outcomes", said Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health.

"We encourage all stakeholders to consider smoke-free policies and become Smoke-Free Champions by protecting people from second-hand smoke exposure. We overwhelmingly hear that a smoke-free environment adds to the positive aspects of our festival. I encourage other festivals and events to do the same", said Mr. Brooman. "I'm proud to offer an event that is free of tobacco smoke where participants can enjoy a truly healthy experience."



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