Fight to Stop Smoking
Canada’s National Non-Smoking Week was held
from January 16 to 22, 2005. This special week, loaded with
national activities promoting the fight against tobacco use,
encouraged Canadians to examine Canada's activities and
accomplishments in fighting cigarette smoking.
Some Key facts about smoking and/or tobacco
- Cigarette smoking is responsible in Canada
for about 30% of all cancers, and for more than 85 % of lung
- Tobacco use is blamed for more than 47 500
annual Canadian deaths.
- Tobacco use is the leading cause in
Canada, and around the world, of preventable disease,
disability, and death.
- Cigarette smoking and smokers' materials
are the leading cause of residential fire-related fatalities
and loss in Canada each year.
- Globally, 4.9 million people die each year
from tobacco-related illness.
Canada views itself proudly as a world leader
in successfully attacking cigarette smoking on different
fronts. On the international front, in December 2004, Canada
joined 39 nations by formally approving and accepting the
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC, based
on a Canadian concept, is the first-ever global effort designed
to protect societies from the effects of tobacco use and of
exposure to second-hand smoke. Canada already surpasses many of
the FCTC’s expectations.
On the national front, to combat cigarette
smoking Canada directs efforts in three main areas. First,
Health Canada provides support to First Nations and Inuit
communities to set-up programs to promote healthier, smoke-free
Second, federal legislation has been proposed
recently toward reducing the fire risk from cigarettes, thus
aiming at the leading cause of residential fire-related death
and injuries in Canada. If this legislation passes in
parliament, then Canada would become the first country to have a
national standard to reduce the fire risk from cigarettes.
Third, efforts and progress are being made on
regulations requiring health related messages to be displayed on
tobacco products and advertisements.
On the provincial, territorial, and
city fronts, efforts and resources are allocated to help fight
smoking. Thus far, three provinces have banned smoking in all
public places. It is expected that by the end of 2005, at least
75 municipalities and more of Canada’s provinces and territories
will be 100% smoke-free.
Furthermore, several of Canada’s
provinces have taken cigarette companies to court. The
cigarette manufacturers are being challenged to defend tobacco
use, and also being pressured to pay the enormous health-care
costs associated with the consequences of cigarette smoking and
second hand smoke.
As more than 6.6 million Canadians are already
former smokers, Canada is clearly making large gains in its
exemplary fight against cigarette smoking. Complemented with
ongoing advertising campaigns to quit smoking and the dangers of
second-hand smoke, Canada’s fight at different levels on
cigarette smoking will undoubtedly help to create a healthier
Canadian and global society.
For reference and further detail, check
these sites and available links:
Manitoba to back B.C in Tobacco Case
Butting out in Canada
Tobacco Firms to Face Trial in Quebec
Canadian Cancer Society—National Non-Smoking
Health Canada—National Non-Smoking Week
Health Canada—Go Smoke Free
Fraser Health—Smoking Cessation
Vancouver Coastal Health—National Non-Smoking
B.C. Health Media Site—National Non-Smoking