Nova Scotians will no longer have to breathe second-hand smoke in public places. As of today, Dec. 1, smoking is officially banned in all indoor public areas, workplaces, and outdoor eating and drinking establishments in Nova Scotia. “It’s been a long journey to this day but well worth every step. Government has done the right thing in the interests of the health of all Nova Scotians,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection said today is a milestone to be celebrated. “Today is a major step forward in the protection of the health and safety of Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Barnet. “Smoking rates among our youth are at an all-time low of 13 per cent. Research shows us that removing smoking from public places discourages young people from starting. “This is a key part of our overall tobacco reduction strategy.” Smoking rates have been reduced to 21 per cent in 2005 from a national high of 30 per cent in 2001. “I would like to applaud Nova Scotia for its efforts in protecting Canadians from exposure to second-hand smoke,” said federal Health Minister Tony Clement. “The harmful health effects of second-hand smoke are well known and can no longer be ignored.” Maureen Summers, executive director for the Nova Scotia division of the Canadian Cancer Society, thanked the government for strengthening the legislation. “All Nova Scotians are now getting the protection they deserve,” Ms. Summers said. “This legislation will eliminate the toxic effects of second-hand smoke in public places.” The amendments to the Smoke-Free Places Act were made in response to the many Nova Scotians who asked for a complete smoking ban in public places and workplaces. “Nova Scotians have made it clear that they want the ability to go to work and go out with friends and family to public places without having to deal with the harmful effects of tobacco smoke,” said Mr. Barnet. “Today, Nova Scotia has the toughest anti-smoking legislation in the country, and we are one step closer in making Nova Scotia the healthiest province in the country.” For more information on the amendments to the Smoke-Free Places Act visit www.sickofsmoke.com
New Delhi: Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national Capital are likely to take a hit on Monday as scores of doctors have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal.However, country’s primer hospital AIIMS will not join the strike but RDA AIIMS will hold a march at Jawaharlal Auditorium, at AIIMS. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had given the June 17 strike call with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters here. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkDoctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital,Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital will not function on Monday. The IMA said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am on Tuesday. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsEmergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said. Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were reportedly attacked and seriously injured by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence. The apex medical body, IMA, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff. Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement. Exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence should be a component of the central law and suitable amendments be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the IMA said. The medical body had launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of the central law to check violence against healthcare workers. A delegation of IMA, Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, United Resident and Doctors Association of India (URDA) and Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) met the Health Minister recently in this regard.