Government of Canada marks World No Tobacco Day with launch of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy

News release

New approach, including legislation and increased funding, will lead to fewer deaths from tobacco use

May 31, 2018 - Montréal, QC - Health Canada

Every day, Canadians are getting sick or dying because of tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. Tobacco use still kills 45,000 Canadians each year. That’s one person every twelve minutes. More than 4 million people still use tobacco in Canada – about 15% of the population.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, marked World No Tobacco Day by launching Canada’s Tobacco Strategy.

The goal of the new strategy is to drive down the smoking rate in Canada to less than 5% by 2035. The strategy is the result of extensive consultation and engagement with Canadians across the country over the past year.

Canada’s Tobacco Strategy will take focused action to help Canadians quit smoking, including groups of Canadians with the highest rates of tobacco use. It will also take a pragmatic and compassionate approach to supporting Canadians who already use tobacco, to reduce the negative consequences of nicotine addiction. It will focus on:

  • helping Canadians quit tobacco,
  • protecting young people and non-tobacco users,
  • strengthening our foundations in science and surveillance to support evidence-based decision-making, and
  • collaborating with our many partners.

The Strategy is supported by measures introduced through the new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, which recently received Royal Assent, and through the increased funding for federal action on tobacco that was announced in Budget 2018 – the first significant increase in funding to address tobacco use in nearly two decades.

All Canadians will benefit from Canada’s Tobacco Strategy. We will see fewer Canadians starting to smoke, more Canadians quitting, and a new generation of healthier Canadians with a greater awareness of how important it is to never pick up that first cigarette.


“Our government takes the health of Canadians seriously. That’s why we have significantly increased funding for Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, which will allow us to remain a world leader in reducing overall smoking rates. Through this Strategy and the new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, we can help people who use tobacco to stop and we can discourage others from starting. We are committed to the next phase of our work, which aims to drive down tobacco use by Canadians to less than 5% by 2035.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Quick Facts

  • The vast majority of smokers begin smoking by adolescence or young adulthood. In Canada, 82% of current adult daily smokers had smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18.
  • In 2015 alone, 115,000 Canadians began smoking cigarettes daily.
  • Budget 2018 announced $80.5 million in new funding over five years for Canada’s Tobacco Strategy. Building on existing funding, that’s approximately $330 million in tobacco control efforts and the regulation of vaping products over the next five years.
  • The Governments new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act received Royal Assent on May 23, 2018.

Associated Links

News Release: New Tobacco and Vaping Products Legislation Receives Royal Assent
Canada’s Tobacco Strategy
World No Tobacco Day
Share how tobacco products have affected your health


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

Public Inquiries:
1-866 225-0709

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