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Tobacco Issues, Organizations, Resources


The following information provides a compilation of many of the tobacco reduction strategy organizations in the province of Ontario, most of which are supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health. It is not a "feature" as such, as there has not been an overview, summary or analysis of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy provided here. We look forward to being able to provide you with a more indepth review of the tobacco use prevention activities across Ontario in the near future.

According to the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU), which was set up to research the issues related to tobacco use and prevention and to monitor the Ontario Tobacco Strategy (1993) - The Strategy established or re-oriented four resource centres to produce high quality resource materials and training:

* The Program Training and Consultation Centre provides training and consultation services to community-based tobacco use reduction strategies.

* The Council for a Tobacco Free Ontario contributes to an increased understanding and implementation of effective tobacco control interventions by local councils through co-ordination, assistance and the provision of resource materials, particularly in relation to National Non-Smoking Week and World No Tobacco Day. [note: CTFO closed down in March 2000 and was later replaced by the Ontario Tobacco-Free Network]

* The Smoking and Health Action Foundation provides research and advice on public policy related to tobacco control.

* The National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health provides timely and reliable information as well as networking services to health and education intermediaries, policy makers and health advocates.

These resource centres, along with OTRU and the demonstration site COMMIT [which closed down April 1999), and others are described below. As well two recent announcements about list-servs related to tobacco are included at the bottom. The last word on electronic discussion on tobacco issues is, appropriately an international list-serv described by an Australian. These issues are not limited to provincial boundaries or legislation, but are global in scope. Your comments and contributions are very welcome! Send them to


A. What Ontario Legislators Have to Say About Tobacco and Tobacco Control


A collaborative study carried out by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and the Institute for Social Research at York University found that a large majority of Ontario MPPs surveyed believe that nicotine is addictive, that second hand smoke can cause lung cancer, and that it is very difficult for daily smokers to quit. However, many legislators are not aware of the magnitude of tobacco-caused mortality. Ontario MPPs surveyed show strong support for regulating tobacco as a hazardous product and for strong penalties for stores convicted of selling cigarettes to minors. There was also majority support for regulating cigarette advertising, for a price increase of fifty cents to one dollar on cigarette packages, and for banning smoking in workplaces.

Study Highlights

- 8 in 10 Ontario MPPs surveyed strongly agreed that most smokers are addicted to nicotine.

- 7 in 10 Ontario MPPs surveyed strongly agreed that second hand smoke can cause lung cancer in non-smokers.

- 7 in 10 Ontario MPPs surveyed supported strong penalties for stores the second time they were convicted of selling cigarettes to minors

- 6 in 10 Ontario MPPs surveyed felt that the government has a major responsibility regarding programs and policies to prevent young people from starting to smoke.

- 4 in 10 Ontario MPPs surveyed felt that the government has a major responsibility regarding programs and policies to help people to quit smoking.

These findings were obtained from Ontario MPPs as part of the 1996-97 Canadian Legislator Study, funded by Health Canada. This study is the first to systematically investigate the perceptions, attitudes, and degree of support of Canadian legislators with regard to tobacco and tobacco control policies. The views of legislators are important because they are key players in the public policy process. Beginning in April 1996, legislators were asked about a wide range of topics, including the role of government in tobacco control, contacts with tobacco-related interest groups, attitudes toward tobacco and tobacco control policy issues, and personal tobacco experiences.

Across Canada, a total of 553 legislators were interviewed, yielding an overall response rate of 54%. Response rates varied by province/territory as well as by party. 77 Ontario MPPs participated in this study, yielding a response rate of 60%.

The findings presented above are described in more detail in the following publication:

"How Provincial & Territorial Legislators View Tobacco & Tobacco Control" by de Guia NA, Cohen JE, Ashley MF, Ferrence R, Northrup DA, Pollard JS. In Chronic Diseases in Canada 1998: 19(2): 57-61

Results from other provinces and territories are also available on the web at

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The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) is a unit of the Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto, and a partner in the Ontario Tobacco Strategy. OTRU was established by the Ontario Ministry of Health in 1993 to undertake a program of research, development and dissemination of knowledge about effective tobacco control programs and policies. The unit tries to ensure that existing knowledge is critically evaluated, summarized appropriately, and made available in the most useful form. It plays a key role in monitoring the Ontario Tobacco Strategy.

The Unit is co-sponsored by the Addiction Research Foundation, the Central West Health Planning Information Network, the KFLA/Queen's University Teaching Health Unit and the University of Waterloo.

OTRU has established several series of publications for the communication of new and up-to-date information in the tobacco control field.

TOBACCO RESEARCH NEWS is a regular (quarterly) newsletter of the OTRU. Spring/Summer 1998 issue (v4#1) contains articles on Cancer Care Ontario's Expanding Role in Tobacco Control; A Rebuttal of Disinformation by the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, and another article rebuttal ("Tobacco and Tolerance" in the Economist) by Christine Post of the Peterborough County-City Health Unit; notes on BC's innovative legislation; comings & goings and successful grant applications.

Current series of publications include:

Literature Reviews

Working Papers (describing original research)

Annotated Bibliographies

Special Reports

A particularly useful publication is the OTRU Directory of individuals and organizations working on tobacco issues in Ontario; organized by alphabetical listing, organization, location, OTRU status and e-mail contacts. You can order it and other publications by contacting OTRU.


33 Russell Street, Toronto ON M5S 2S1

Voice: (416) 595-6888 Fax (416) 595-6068

E-mail: Internet:

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The Council for a Tobacco-Free Ontario (CTFO) is a volunteer-directed, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate tobacco use in Ontario. It was established in 1975 [and closed its doors in 2000], and its members consist of organizations, associates, individuals and local councils on smoking and health. CTFO has been a Resource Centre of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy.

The Council for a Tobacco Free Ontario supports local councils on smoking and health, World No-Tobacco Day, National Non-Smoking Week, public issues and advocacy. It produces materials on prevention, cessation and protection and is a promoter of the 'Smoke-free class of 2000' campaign.

[Editorial note - since the CTFO closed its doors in March 2000, the website has no current information. CTFO has been replaced by the Ontario Tobacco-Free Network (OTN), a provincial interagency network consisting of the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division (CCS), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) and the Ontario Lung Association (OLA). The network is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and supported in-kind by CCS, HSFO, OLA and the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco (OCAT). Their mandate is to support the provincial local tobacco-free councils in their tobacco control educational and advocacy work throughout Ontario.]

If you want information on the local council in your area, please contact the Ontario Tobacco-Free Council at PHONE: 416 922-2238, Toll free - 1 866 922-2238 FAX: 416 440-3331 or check their website at

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The Program Training and Consultation Centre (PTCC) is a resource centre of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy and is funded by the Health Promotion Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health.

The Program Training & Consultation Centre provides training and consultation services to enhance the capacity of Ontario communities to implement effective community-based tobacco use reduction strategies.

PTCC serves: Staff and volunteers working in tobacco and health, particularly those in the following four key delivery systems in Ontario: local public health departments; local councils on smoking and health; community health centres; voluntary organizations

PTCC began operations in October, 1993. In 4 years (October 1993 to September 1997), the PTCC has:

- put on 77 workshops, involving a total of 2,710 participants

- completed 2,040 off-site consultations

- completed 86 on-site consultations, involving 1,015 people

- developed 11 resources, and contributed to the development of many others, for use by community groups.

Training and consultation supports cover a variety of topics, including: program supports for the Ontario Tobacco Control Act, environmental tobacco smoke and bylaw development, strategic planning, smoking cessation and stages of change, implementing community awareness campaigns, reaching the hard to reach tobacco user, teen smoking cessation, women-centred smoking cessation, environmental tobacco smoke in home environments.

PTCC maintains a roster of 31 Community Consultants in Tobacco who are available for on-site consultation support in program planning and implementation.

For more information call 1-800-363-7822 (Ontario only) or contact:

at the OTTAWA office: Janet Nevala, Co-ordinator

c/o Ottawa-Carleton Health Department

495 Richmond Road Ottawa, Ontario, K2A 4A4

TEL: (613) 722-2242 -- FAX: (613) 724-4116

at the KITCHENER office: Josie d'Avernas, Senior Consultant

c/o RBJ Health Management Associates

460 Frederick Street Kitchener, Ontario, N2H 2P5

TEL: (519) 571-9870 -- FAX: (519) 571-9873

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SHAF plays a primary support role in creating a supportive environment for the development of healthy public policy in Ontario related to tobacco use.

SHAF and its partner organization, the Non-Smokers Rights Association, pursue their objectives by:

- Collecting background information and initiating primary research on key tobacco issues, such as fiscal policy to reduce consumption, tobacco industry economics, and tobacco industry misinformation techniques.

- This research is used to educate the public and shape public opinion on the tobacco issue, by providing data to the print and electronic media.

- SHAF research is also published in background memoranda, brochures, manual or pamphlet form for distribution among editorial boards, other news media, policy makers, the health community, concerned professionals, SHAF members and donors, and the public (as appropriate).

- SHAF also builds, mobilizes, and trains community coalitions.

Smoking and Health Action Foundation

Garfield Mahood, Executive Director

720 Spadina Ave., Suite 221, Toronto, ON M5S 2T9

Tel: (416) 928-2900 / Fax (416) 928-1860

This program may be reached by email to: or through their website at

COMMIT To A Healthier Brant 1993-1999

COMMIT to A Healthier Brant is the demonstration project of the Ontario Tobacco Strategy and has been funded by the Health Promotion Branch of the Ministry of Health. The mandate of the COMMIT is to demonstrate innovative approaches to reduce tobacco use in Brant County through prevention, protection and cessation initiatives.

[Editorial Note - COMMIT closed its doors, completed its project in 1999. for further information on the results of the project, contact PTCC as above or the Centre for Applied Health Research at the University of Waterloo]


Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has responsibility for coordinating the entire spectrum of cancer control activities in the province. The Division of Preventive Oncology, is responsible for cancer surveillance, screening, preventive research and primary prevention. This division has created the Ontario Cancer Prevention Network (OCPN) to coordinate the activities of CCO and 8 regional networks. OCPN has identified tobacco control as the primary target for cancer prevention. CCO has become an active member of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, and a major sponsor of the "Tobacco or Kids" campaign.

The Prevention Unit was newly formed within the Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario during the summer of 1999. The chief mandate of the Prevention Unit is the primary prevention of cancer, that is, reducing the likelihood that cancer will develop in the first place by modifying risk factors for cancer.

Phone: 416.971.9800

Fax: 416.971.6888


The CCO web-site is:


The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is a founding member of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, [OCAT] which successfully advocated passage of Ontario's Tobacco Control Act, which was proclaimed in November, 1994. The OCAT's successful advocacy in support of the province's Tobacco Control Act established many important tobacco control measures at the provincial level, including the banning of cigarette sales in pharmacies and from vending machines, restrictions on sales to minors, and designation of a number of smoke-free public places. Currently, the OMA is supporting provincial initiatives to ban smoking in workplaces and public places throughout Ontario, and to reintroduce provincial tobacco taxation.

Michael Perley is the Executive Director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco. Tel: (416) 340-2992; e-mail

or contact the Ontario Tobacco Media Network at


The National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health is a program of the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health in partnership with the National Strategy to Reduce Tobacco Use in Canada. It utilizes an advisory committee structure with partners and experts as members. The Clearinghouse mandate is to provide information and networking services relevant to tobacco use prevention and reduction programs, projects, resources, and advocacy provides information and referrals relevant to Canadian tobacco and health initiatives to advocates, health educators, policy makers, program planners, resource developers and health professionals working to prevent and reduce tobacco use. In addition to maintaining an extensive collection of 20,000 documents, the Clearinghouse develops customized responses to requests for information, carries out selected projects to facilitate clients' work toward a tobacco-free society, produces the Clearinghouse Connection newsletter three times a year, a monthly news bulletin the Nicotine Times, and manages an extensive World Wide Web site.

National Clearinghouse on Tobacco and Health

170 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON K1P 5V5

Toll-free: (800) 267-5234 Tel: (613) 567-3050 Fax: (613) 567-5695

Client Services Group:




In March 1995, the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) set up OTRU-NET, an electronic mail forum, to make group communication easier. OTRU-NET automatically distributes email messages to every subscriber. OTRU-NET provides a convenient opportunity for tobacco investigators to participate in discussions on priority areas in research, project development, funding issues, and any other relevant topic. There is no cost to join OTRU-NET.

To join OTRU-NET send an e-mail to:


In the message, put ONLY the following

SUBSCRIBE OTRU-NET YOUR NAME (where Your Name is the name you normally use). Your subscription will be confirmed by return email.

For more information: Mel Martin (416) 595-6047


Intl-tobacco is a moderated listserve which distributes information related to international tobacco control, including news articles, analysis, updates on legislative developments in the United States related to international tobacco control, and reports from tobacco control advocates around the world.

To subscribe to intl-tobacco, send an e-mail message to with the following all in one line:

subscribe intl-tobacco

from: Rob Donovan PhD

Co-director Health Promotion Evaluation Unit

University of Western Australia

Nedlands, Western Australia 6907