Mr. Speaker, over 45,000 Canadians die every year as a result of illness caused by tobacco. It is the most pressing public health issue in this country.
My constituency of Kitchener Centre and all the communities within the regional municipality of Waterloo require all restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, billiard and bingo halls to be 100% smoke free.
I am proud of the co-operation from businesses and individuals in enabling all regional residents to enjoy our community in a completely smoke free environment. I ask the House to join me in congratulating Waterloo region for achieving a gold standard from the Ontario tobacco free network.
Every year 80,000 Canadians die from heart attacks and strokes. At least 20,000 of these deaths are due to smoking. That is 55 people each and every day.
February is heart month and provides an opportunity for Canadians to increase their awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke. It is a good time to think about lifestyle changes, such as becoming smoke free to prevent future health problems.