Feed on

The video, below, is definitely among my favourite media clips from the marathon a day, 6 days a week for 6 months, 6,000 kilometre Journey for a Tobacco-Free World.  Again, a huge “THANK YOU!” to CBC Television reporter Bob Nixon.

Just in case that link is ever broken/removed/lost/stolen or otherwise destroyed/sabotaged (by those bastards at Imperial Tobacco), it may be found at http://www.cbc.ca/bc/weblog/bobnixon/death/ , after you click on “Anti-Tobacco Campaign”.

Here’s the transcript, from the Wed, June 9, 2010 CBC Evening News (the clip ran from 6:22 p.m. til 6:24):

T – TONY Parsons, CBC Vancouver TV news anchor, B – BOB Nixon, CBC TV reporter and E – ERROL Povah.

T – This is not your usual cross-country tour.  It’s not really a fundraiser or meant to increase awareness of a rare disease.  One man is running across Canada, hoping to put some very powerful companies out of business.  Bob Nixon caught up with him, near Hope.
B – Down that long, lonely highway walks Errol Povah, Marathon Man.  Every day, since May 31, he has walked and jogged a marathon.  Starting in Victoria, he is heading to Montreal. Continue Reading »

“Sex, Lies and Cigarettes”, a documentary film by Christof Putzel, and aired in the “Vanguard” series on Current TV, is now available on YouTube.

First, many thanks to EVERYONE who supported me and ‘the cause’; you have no idea how much I appreciate it!

Anyone who has been an anti-tobacco activist for more than 5 minutes is painfully aware of ‘disappointment’.  It’s now been 3 days since I completed the ‘run, walk or crawl’ portion of the Journey for a Tobacco-Free World (JTFW)… and the disappointment of ZERO MEDIA in New York City (NYC) is still stinging, big time.

Despite a great deal of progress (in terms of smoking bans, tobacco advertising and sponsorship bans, etc.), the carnage caused by tobacco industry products continues, virtually unfettered.  In fact, it’s getting worse… much worse!  And fast!

Forty-six years after the first U.S. Surgeon-General’s Report on the hazards of smoking — with the current annual global death toll from tobacco industry products standing at 5.4 million — the World Health Organization is predicting that that death toll will actually DOUBLE within the next 10 years, primarily as a result of the tobacco industry’s extremely successful (and ongoing, with no end in sight) ‘rape and pillage’ program in developing nations… most notably, in Africa and, as always, targeting kids in their early teens and even pre-teens (the industry’s “new recruits” and/or “replacement smokers”). Continue Reading »

Article by David Taube in the Glens Falls Post Star: From Vancouver, anti-tobacco activist walks through Glens Falls area

Update from Quebec

Errol and Death at Imperial Tobacco

Errol and a different Grim Reaper at Imperial Tobacco

Remembrance Day was an extremely long day, in many wonderful ways:  I met so many anti-tobacco colleagues and supporters…most notably a group of about 40 young people who, along with about 10 adults, gave me a very loud and boisterous reception as I — accompanied by Stan Shatenstein and 8 youth (and their teacher, `M.C.`) — ran to Imperial Tobacco, where I gave the first of 4 speeches, followed by many media interviews (I don`t have a full list of media who attended, but CTV was there and 24 Hours).

A huge thank you to Heidi, Flory, Francoise (“Grim” for this event) and everyone else at the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control, as well as Joanne, Joe and others with tobaccoinfo.ca (an incredible resource for, well, tobacco info) and so many others.  And “Merci!” to the Montreal Police Department, which provided a police officer and a police car (with red and blue lights flashing), blocking the lane that we occupied in front of Imperial Tobacco.  All in all, very impressive!

It`s late… and I`m up very early tomorrow, as I make my way toward New York with renewed enthusiasm and inspiration.

Thank you, again… ALL OF YOU!

More pictures

Press coverage in 24 Heures Montréal:

Errol arriving in Montreal

Errol arriving in Montreal

Running through the smoke

by Étienne Laberge

What would you do to convince young people not to smoke? Retired British Colombian anti-tobacco activist Errol Povah asked himself the same question before deciding he’d cross the country running from one ocean to the other to denounce the practices of the tobacco industry.

The resident of Victoria, BC has been running the equivalent of a marathon a day since May 31st just to sensitize young people not to smoke. Continue Reading »

Story by Postmedia News, published in the Vancouver Province: B.C. man’s lonely cross-country trek against tobacco nears end

The JTFW is now just a little bit east of Ottawa. Took today (Monday, October 25) off instead of my usual Wednesday so that I could meet with Burnaby/New West MP Peter Julian and the NDP Health Critic. The meeting went well, had lunch with Peter, then sat in on Question Period in the House of Commons.

I expect to be in Montreal by Saturday, Oct 30.

Will update the schedule soon.

Thanks again to everyone for your good wishes, etc.

GOIN’ DOWN 69 !!!

The highway, of course!

Okay, the first couple of lines of my ‘prose’ aren’t exactly true but…

After a couple of absolutely brutal, freezing cold nights in the van, it seems I’ve arrived in the tropics; day time temps in the mid to high teens.  On top, I wore just a t-shirt for the first time in a month or more (instead of the usual 2, 3 or more layers)…and they actually mentioned something on the weather forecast about a UV Index!?!

Spent most of today (Wed, Oct 6) plotting my course for tomorrow.  That suddenly got a little challenging in this neck of the woods (south of Parry Sound), as I start getting into ‘400 series’ highways, where pedestrian traffic is not allowed.  The funny part is nobody seemed to be able to give me any real solid advice as to the most direct alternate routes to Toronto; the OPP sent me to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which sent me to the Chamber of Commerce…which was closed today!!!  So, with some advice from a few people and a reasonably detailed map, I plotted my course for tomorrow, which involves walking 5 km (in both directions, on 69), then driving about 18 km south on 400, walking 16 km (in both directions, on the ‘Old 69’), then driving 3 km further south, to my starting point for Friday.

If you haven’t done so yet, please check the freshly-updated schedule link, which gets me right through to Montreal…and the end of the Canadian leg of the JTFW.

The fact that I have ZERO corporate sponsorship/funding continues to frustrate and infuriate me.  HELLO CORPORATE CANADA (and Corporate America):  There’s no need to be afraid of so-called ‘Big Tobacco’!  Other than all of the carnage it’s responsible for, it’s not really all that scary!  Stop treating the tobacco industry like a hot potato!  It is the leading — AND MOST EASILY AND CHEAPLY PREVENTABLE — cause of disease, disability and premature death, by far…and it can and must be shut down, period!  Ultimately, all that’s required is a little bit of POLITICAL WILL…and that’s what I’m trying to generate, but I can’t do it alone and with no money!!!

That said, a huge “THANK YOU!” to Dave Bialkowski of TRYSPORT (www.ontariotrysport.com), here in Parry Sound.  Dave did what Running Room, Mitch’s and others couldn’t/wouldn’t:  He gave me a new pair of runners.  The ones I’d been wearing since Medicine Hat, Alberta (about 2,500 km ago, bearing in mind that about 400 – 700 km is the ‘life expectancy’ of an average pair of runners) gave out…and caused a couple of severe blisters (one on the side of my heel) that required a visit to Parry Sound Hospital a couple of days ago.  And many thanks to the awesome staff there, too…one of whom suggested TRYSPORT.

ATTENTION ALL POLITICIANS:  Public support for the idea of shutting down the global tobacco industry — both the legal and illegal industries — is huge!  I’ve talked to hundreds of people across the country (both non-smokers and smokers) and, with the exception of a CBC radio reporter in Regina, support is unanimous!!!  So please, give it the attention it deserves.


Story from Around & About, Oct. 5 issue:

Journey for a Tobacco-Free World – Errol Povah, President of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health continues his journey walking across Canada. At the estimated rate of 42 km a day, six days a week, the cross country, shore-to-shore trek is expected to take six months. Errol is a 57 year-old BC anti-tobacco activist who made his way through Massey, Webbwood, Mckerrow and Nairn Centre on Thursday, September 30. Errol’s mission is to raise awareness about the continued scandalous practices of the tobacco industry which annually kills 47 000 Canadians (more than alcohol, drunk driving, car accidents, drugs, murder, suicide and AIDS combined), and five million (and rising) globally. Errol’s goal is to put the tobacco industry out of business! He is asking for your assistance in spreading the word about his journey.
Tax-deductable donations are available through Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada http://www.smoke-free.ca
If you would like to follow Errol’s Journey across Canada or would like more information visit the website https://tobaccofreeworld.ca

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