OTTAWA, Jan. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - This year the Canadian Council for Tobacco
Control sought to highlight the complex relationship Canadians who
smoke have with their cigarettes. Most of us have experienced a
relationship that we knew was not good for us, but found it difficult
to walk away. This is particularly true for the millions of Canadians
who smoke - their "pal" is slowing killing them. Further, their
addiction to and use of tobacco may also be doing the same thing to
their loved ones.
Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in
Canada, killing 37,000 Canadians annually. Direct health care costs
from tobacco exceed $4.4 billion per year, and total economic costs are
greater than $17 billion per year.1 For every premature death caused by tobacco, there are at least 20
people living with a tobacco-related illness.2
Research continues to show that comprehensive tobacco control programmes
change smoking behaviour at the population level and alter social
environmental factors that influence smoking. Such local, provincial
and national tobacco control programmes are in peril without the
renewal of a well-funded Federal Tobacco Control Strategy. The health
crisis caused by tobacco products demands the continuation of a strong
nation-wide response to prevent and reduce tobacco use and exposure.
This is one relationship that demands regulation
A comprehensive tobacco control strategy should strive to achieve a
smoke-free society in Canada by:
Preventing people who do not smoke from beginning to smoke and becoming
addicted to tobacco;
Helping people quit smoking;
Promoting the right of individuals to breathe air unpolluted by tobacco
Unmasking the tobacco industry and its predatory marketing practices,
and denormalizing tobacco products and their use;
Ensuring the tobacco industry is regulated in a manner consistent with
the chemical industry and other hazardous products; and
Educating Canadians about the dangers of smoking.
A relationship with cigarettes is costly
Five million Canadians smoke. Through tobacco taxation, they contribute
billions of dollars annually to federal and provincial coffers. However
we spend but a small fraction of that to help them quit this
relationship. Further, as a society, we continue to stigmatize people
who smoke and to blame them for their addiction conveniently neglecting
the fact that tobacco is highly addictive and that most adults in
Canada who currently smoke started before the age of 17 - many even
before the age of 15.
We must do more to help create and invest in environments that support
"quitters", that protects non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke
and that ensures our youth never enter into this devastating and costly
relationship. Tobacco is a relationship that never has a happy ending.
NNSW - 35 Years Young
NNSW has been observed for 35 years and is one of the longest running
and most important events in the CCTC's ongoing public education
efforts regarding the consequences of tobacco use. Its goals are:
to educate Canadians about the dangers of smoking;
to prevent people who do not smoke from beginning to smoke and becoming
addicted to tobacco;
to help people quit smoking;
to promote the right of individuals to breathe air unpolluted by tobacco
to denormalize the tobacco industry, tobacco industry marketing
practices, tobacco products, and tobacco use; and
to assist in the attainment of a smoke-free society in Canada.
Factsheets will be available on the NNSW website.
For more information about NNSW please visit nnsw.ca or to learn more about the CCTC and its services please visit cctc.ca
Pour obtenir la version française du présent communiqué, veuillez
1 Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (2006), The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada 2002.
2 J Mackay and M Erikson, The Tobacco Atlas, 2002.
SOURCE CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR TOBACCO CONTROL (CCTC)
For further information: