TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society congratulates the
Ontario government for announcing today that nicotine replacement
therapy (NRT) will be made available to Ontarians through family health
"It's a good step in the right direction and it certainly increases the
help available to Ontarians who want to quit smoking," says Martin
Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.
Nevertheless, the Society believes that more needs to be done to help
smokers quit in this province and to reduce the availability of cheap
illegal cigarettes that undermine tobacco control efforts.
"We encourage the government to go even further and develop both a
province-wide cessation strategy and programs that will ensure the
elimination of contraband tobacco from our schools, our streets and
throughout our entire province," adds Kabat.
In this respect, the Society supports the development of a province-wide
linked cessation system that increases services and incorporates the
proven effective cessation methods of NRT, other smoking cessation
medications and counseling.
The Society remains committed to more comprehensive strategies because
although programs such as the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline and Driven to Quit Challenge do work, two million people in Ontario still smoke, thousands start
every day and 13,000 Ontarians still die each year from tobacco use.
Tobacco is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and 85% of lung
"Clearly, the government of Ontario has shown that it is willing to take
action on this serious public health issue and now we want them to take
the next logical steps," says Kabat.
Ontarians must recognize that the availability of cheap illegal
cigarettes makes it easy for youth to start smoking and more difficult
for smokers to quit.
The Society therefore calls on the Ontario government to develop a
strategy that includes the following recommendations:
Establish a refund system for products intended for tax-exempt sale on
Prohibit the supply of raw materials to unlicensed manufacturers.
Provide municipal police forces across Ontario with additional
enforcement powers and resources to enforce restrictions on contraband.
Require a health-based marking on every individual cigarette sold in
Ontario (the toll-free number of the Canadian Cancer Society's Smokers' Helpline, for example).
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the
enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When
you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Christine Koserski, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division: (416) 323-7030 or email@example.com