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Tobacco-free Living is a term used to describe a way of life for an individual who does not use tobacco and is not exposed to secondhand smoke. 


Smoking Attributable Deaths:

In Simcoe Muskoka, for the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 500 deaths per year that could be attributed to smoking.
Smoking-attributable deaths also accounted for more than one-in-ten of all deaths during this five-year period.
The age-standardized rate for smoking-attributable deaths during this time period was 159 (145.1, 172.6) per 100,000 adults 35 years of age and older.
This was significantly higher than the Ontario rate of smoking-attributable deaths during the same period of time, which was 125 (122.0, 127.0) per 100,000 adults 35 years of age and older.
The majority of smoking-attributable deaths were due to lung cancer, COPD and ischemic heart disease (IHD), which accounted for more than three-quarters of all smoking attributable deaths in Simcoe Muskoka over this time period.
Smoking attributable deaths were higher in males when compared with females for all disease groups other than COPD.

 Smoking Attributable Mortality (SAM)

See HealthSTATS website for further tobacco information.


Secondhand Smoke

  • Secondhand smoke (SHS) has been identified as one of the possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Children found to breathe SHS have a higher rate of asthma, ear infections and respiratory problems.
  • SHS contains more than 50 cancer causing chemicals.
  • The effects of SHS on adults include cancer of the lung, breast, bladder, pancreas, liver and brain, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.



Warning: Smoking and Pregnancy

  • Smoking increases the risk of low birth weight.
  • Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage.
  • Babies receive nicotine and carbon monoxide from their mother’s blood.
  • Smoking has a direct effect on the growth and long-term development of the fetus.



The Good News

  • After 15 years of tobacco-free living, the risk of death returns to nearly the level of persons who have never smoked.
  • The risk of lung cancer drops to as much as one half that of those continuing to use tobacco, after 10 years.
  • After 1 year of being smoke free, the excess risk of heart disease caused by smoking is reduced by half.
  • Those that have been tobacco free for many years are less likely to die of chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema, than those who continue to smoke.
  • Quitting smoking reduces the risk of repeat heart attacks and death from heart disease by 50% or more.
  • Women who stop smoking before becoming pregnant or during the first trimester of pregnancy, reduce their risk of having low birth weight babies.



Further Tips for Patients

  • People who quit smoking are more likely than current smokers to exercise regularly. Exercise may help new quitters stay tobacco free and avoid or minimize weight gain. 
  • On average, it takes a person who smokes several times of trying to quit smoking before they are able to quit for good.
  • Once a person has stopped smoking, they may be tempted to eat more to cope with nicotine cravings. Encourage incorporation of healthy, tasty, well-balanced meals and snacks into daily life to help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Current smokers have reported others’ smoking as one of their main challenges to quitting, and top reasons for relapse. Creation of supportive environments/smoke-free places (home, car, public places) are proven to motivate tobacco users to quit smoking and help those that have quit to stay smoke free.


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