Humphrey Bogart, Dean Martin, Keith Richards, Slash — the list of pop heroes who are (or were) regularly seen with a cigarette hanging from their lips is long and, more importantly, influential.
In an effort to counter that influence locally, Marilyn McIvor, tobacco reduction co-ordinator for Coast Garibaldi Community Health Services, has instituted a recognition program and during national Non-Smoking Week (Jan. 18-25) presented the first awards.
Diana Crossan of Creekside Pharmacy, Bob Daly, principal at Myrtle Philip Community School, Carol Bayliff, Bob Dawson of the Rim Rock Cafe, and Paula Campbell of the adele-campbell Fine Art Gallery have been recognized this year.
"The theme for this year’s Non-Smoking Week is ‘Smoke-free works for all of us’," McIvor said. "The intention is to show how everyone can work to create smoke-free spaces."
Crossan was recognized because she has refused to sell tobacco products at her Creekside Pharmacy.
Daly made the difficult decision to suspend four Grade 6 girls for violating Myrtle Philip’s smoke-free policy.
Bayliff volunteered to orient Whistler and Pemberton teachers to BC tobaccofacts, a new tobacco reduction curriculum for Grade 6 and 7 students.
The Rim Rock Cafe, in addition to being one of Whistler’s finest restaurants, has been smoke-free for years.
Campbell volunteered her time to help with Beauty From the Inside Out, a tobacco prevention program aimed at Grade 8 girls that was put on with The Body Shop.
Statistics show that every day in B.C. another 20 children start smoking. Young girls are most likely to start.
"Grades 6 and 7 are critical times, when young people are making a lot of decisions," McIvor said. "There are a lot of factors and pressure driving children to try smoking — images on TV, in movies, tobacco sponsorships and peer pressure.
"Kids need to be equipped with current, accurate information on tobacco."