Aggressive target to drive down tobacco use in Canada to less than 5% by 2035
February 22, 2017 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada
Every 14 minutes, a Canadian dies from a tobacco-related illness; that's 37,000 Canadians per year. Despite our efforts, there are still millions of Canadians who use tobacco and more than 115,000 Canadians start smoking every year.
Today, the Government of Canada launched a 7-week public consultation on the future of tobacco control in Canada to renew the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy. The proposed strategy will seek to reduce Canada’s rate of tobacco use to less than 5% by 2035. This goal will require aggressive new measures that will focus long-term federal action to fight tobacco use. The consultation will run until April 13, 2017.
This consultation is just one of a number of steps that the Government of Canada is proposing to better protect Canadians from nicotine addiction and tobacco use, including:
- adopting stringent plain packaging for tobacco products;
- banning the use of menthol in cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars;
- addressing the risks and benefits of vaping products starting with the introduction of new vaping legislation;
- supporting First Nation and Inuit communities in the development and implementation of tobacco control projects that are socially and culturally appropriate, and
- developing new and innovative multi-sectoral partnerships to address tobacco use as a common risk factor for chronic disease.
The consultation paper will serve as a basis in leading discussions with the public as a whole, as well as participants at the National Forum on the Future of Tobacco Control in Canada which will take place February 28 to March 2, 2017. The Government of Canada is committed to working closely with stakeholders, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories in charting a new course in tobacco control that contributes to the overall vision for a healthy Canada.
For more information on the consultation and how Canadians can participate, please visit the Consultation on the future of tobacco control in Canada.
- Canada has made great strides in tobacco control, with the overall smoking rate dropping from 22% in 2001 down to 13% in 2015.
- To reduce the appeal of tobacco to youth, the Government of Canada introduced a proposal to ban the use of menthol in cigarettes, blunt wraps and most cigars sold on the Canadian market.
- To address the e-cigarette market, the Government of Canada recently introduced important legislative measures to protect youth from nicotine addiction and tobacco use while allowing adult smokers to access vaping products as likely less harmful alternatives to tobacco.
- Steps have been taken to prepare for the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products, including consultations on measures to reduce the visual appeal of packages.
“Canada’s tobacco strategy proposes to cut rates of tobacco use in half, to 5% by 2035. I am excited to hear what ideas Canadians have about how we can make this a reality. Canada has long been a world leader in reducing tobacco use, and I am confident that we will continue to see fewer Canadians smoking in the years to come.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
“Despite our ongoing efforts to reduce the overall smoking rate, just over one in ten or about 4 million Canadians, still smoke. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death among Canadians. That’s why we are determined to reduce tobacco use in Canada to less than 5% by 2035. To help achieve a healthy Canada, I encourage Canadians to have their say about the future of tobacco control in Canada by participating in these consultations.”
Dr. Theresa Tam
Canada’s Interim Chief Public Health Officer
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Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
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