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Free movie night to promote smoke-free movies

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Oxford County Public Health's youth group, What the Health?, is hosting a free outdoor movie night for all ages to promote the importance that movies directed towards youth remain smoke-free.

The event is being held on Friday, Aug. 8 at Southside Park in Woodstock. Games begin at 7 p.m. and the family-friendly movie will begin at dusk on the "toboggan hill'" close to the skatepark.

"We are excited to be a part of this event so we can spread awareness of the effects of smoking in movies," Oxford County Public Health's Grace Andic said in a media release. "Through our pre-show games and activities, we will talk to parents and kids about the influence smoking in movies can have on a child's decision to start smoking."

Of the 1,434 top-grossing movies released in theatres from 2004 to 2013, 57% featured on-screen tobacco, of which 86% were rated for youth in Ontario.

"Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Ontario," said Amanda Scales, Oxford County Public Health youth engagement coordinator. "One of the mandates of What the Health? is to educate youth on the dangers of tobacco use and spread the awareness about how the Tobacco Industry uses tactics to promote smoking to young people. Through events like these, planned by our youth for youth, we hope to persuade young people in our community to make informed decisions when it comes to their health."

For more details about the smoke-free movie night, visit the What the Health? website at www.whatthehealth.ca or find them on Facebook. The rain date for the event is Saturday, Aug. 9.

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