OTTAWA, April 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) today urged the federal government to reconsider its decision to cut funding to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy, a move Canada's physicians fear might undermine the support Canadians need to kick the deadly smoking habit.
"The cut is odd given that the Canadian model for tobacco reduction is a proven approach," said Dr. John Haggie, CMA President. "Tobacco is insidious and we must continue to do all we can as a society to ensure no one takes up the habit, particularly youth, who are especially vulnerable to the lure of tobacco."
The Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey released last fall showed that smoking rates were at the lowest ever recorded. Despite this encouraging performance, tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of disease and death in Canada.
"The job is not done yet and any weakening of our resolve will be met by increased activity on the part of the tobacco industry," said Dr. Haggie. "We cannot ease off now because we know that the tobacco industry will not let up in its quest to maintain and expand its market."
The CMA is also concerned about this decision because the government has not yet met its goal of reducing smoking prevalence to 12 per cent by 2011, a goal set by former Minister of Health Tony Clement in 2007.
"As a doctor and as a parent, I would hope that our federal government would do all it can to protect Canadians from the scourge of tobacco," added Dr. Haggie. "Canada's physicians stand ready to engage with the government to ensure smoking becomes a thing of the past."
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 77,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.
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