Health Canada announces funding for a tobacco cessation project to mark World No Tobacco Day 2021

News release

May 31, 2021   | Ottawa, Ontario   | Health Canada

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada. It can harm nearly every organ in the body and plays a role in causing over 40 diseases and other serious health outcomes, from lung cancer to emphysema to heart disease.

Today, to mark World No Tobacco Day, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced $3 million in funding for a national social marketing campaign to encourage people who smoke to quit. This campaign will be a collaborative effort between the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Lung Association, the Canadian Public Health Association, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. Funding for this project was provided under Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program. The investment aligns with the objectives of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, which aims to reduce tobacco use to less than 5% by 2035.

The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with organizations across the country to maximize the reach of public education efforts around the health risks associated with tobacco products, and to protect Canadians – particularly youth, non-users of tobacco products and young children – from the harms of smoking and nicotine addiction.

Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it is possible. Canadians who want to quit smoking do not have to do it alone. Services and supports are available to help Canadians quit smoking. Trained specialists with the pan-Canadian toll-free quit line can help individuals develop a quit-smoking plan, answer questions and provide referrals to programs and services in communities across Canada, including information on how to access quit-smoking medications that can help with the potential withdrawal symptoms. Canadians can reach a quit coach at 1-866-366-3667 or online, or can talk to their health care professional for assistance.


“If you are considering quitting smoking, I encourage you to reach out for support on this World No Tobacco Day. The Government of Canada will continue to provide Canadians with resources and credible information on the risks of tobacco use with projects like the one funded today.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • World No Tobacco Day is an annual event led by the World Health Organization (WHO) that provides information on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations. This year's theme is "commit to quit".

  • Despite the significant progress society has made to reduce its use, nearly 5 million Canadians continue to smoke and every year, about 48,000 Canadians die due to tobacco use.

  • According to the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) from 2019, 8% (155,000) of Canadians aged 15-19 years and 15% (4.7 million) of Canadians aged 15 years and older smoke cigarettes.

  • Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program is a federal grants and contributions program that provides financial support to provinces, territories, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous organizations, key stakeholders and individuals to strengthen responses to drug and substance use issues in Canada.

  • Canada's Tobacco Strategy includes an investment of $330 million over 5 years, starting in 2018, to help Canadians who smoke to quit or reduce the harms of their addiction to nicotine, and to protect the health of young people and non-smokers from the dangers of tobacco  use.

  • Tobacco taxation is an effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and help reach the government's goal of less than 5 per cent of the population using tobacco by 2035. Budget 2021 increased the tobacco excise duty by $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases to the excise duty rates for other tobacco products. This measure took effect April 20, 2021, the day after Budget Day.

Associated links


Cole Davidson
Office  of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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