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Ontario Public Health PractionersExcerpt taken from MacLean, Diem, Bouchard, Robertson-Palmer, Edwards, & O’Hagan, (2007).

“The Tobacco-Free Living and Young Adults project was a program intervention to promote tobacco-free living among young adults, aged 18-25 years old, in university residences. The project evolved out of concerns raised within the City of Ottawa’s Public Health Unit about the high smoking rates among young adults (National Population Health Survey, Health Canada, 1999) and from the fact that little was known at the time about smoking behaviour and effective intervention approaches for this age group (MacLean, Meyer, Robertson-Palmer, Diem, Carroll, Moses, and Zimmerman, 1999). It was initiated by the Health Unit working in partnership with the Community Health Research Unit, and later, the University of Ottawa Residence Life and Health Promotion departments. The Community Health Research Unit is a health system-linked research unit, with investigators from both the Health Unit and the University of Ottawa. This collaborative partnership has been operating since 1989.

The bilingual research and intervention program took place at the University of Ottawa Residences. The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual university in North America. Francophone and Anglophone students receive their education, housing, and services in the Canadian official language of their choice.

The program used a community capacity-building approach (Moyer, MacLean, Dunkley, Edwards, O’Hagan, Roberge, Essièmbre, and Coristine, 1997) to develop peer-led interventions in a participatory fashion with university residents ages 18-25 years. The project was participatory both in its intervention components and, to a lesser degree, in its research components. Levels of the university community system (residents, resident advisors, resident staff) were involved in planning most aspects of the practice intervention, and were fed back results of the research findings, to utilize in subsequent planning phases. The involvement of the community in the intervention and research was intended to increase problem solving, leadership, organizational structures and networks, and sense of community among residence students and staff on the issue of tobacco-free living (Moyer, Coristine, MacLean, and Meyer, 1999). We hoped to see a systemic change through community capacity building, as well as the improved applicability and utilization of research through a collaborative, participatory approach (Fisher, 1982).”
Last Updated on Monday, 01 June 2009 08:03