Liberals call for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy
News release 23 August 2007
Saskatoon – Saskatchewan Liberal Leader David Karwacki is calling for the creation of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy in Saskatchewan to combat nation-leading rates of smoking, particularly among young people. The federal Minister of Health recently announced ambitious new national goals for smoking rate reductions. The targets were not accompanied by any details or new money. There have been no co-ordinated efforts with the Saskatchewan government to put in place effective programs to deal with Saskatchewan’s abnormally high smoking rates.
“Saskatchewan is the only province without a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. The facts are clear: we have the highest smoking rates in the country, but the third lowest per capita funding for tobacco control,” said Karwacki. “In January of 2001 an all party committee of the Legislature recommended putting in place and funding a comprehensive tobacco control strategy which would include measures such as peer education for youth and a plan to address smoking in casinos. Both the NDP and Saskatchewan Party are silent while we face this impending health time-bomb. Liberals in the legislature would move this issue forward.”
Last week, Karwacki and a number of Liberal candidates from Regina and Saskatoon met with representatives of the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Cancer Society, where they expressed their support for the Cancer Society’s call for a comprehensive provincial tobacco control strategy. Shaine Peters, Saskatchewan Liberal Party candidate for Regina Dewdney, is an expert in tobacco control programs for youth.
“Saskatchewan needs to take action on addressing the impact that tobacco use is having on the health of Saskatchewan residents,” said Peters. “I have first hand experience with this government’s lack of interest in dealing with the issue of youth smoking after all this study. I’m getting involved as a candidate to take action.”
Shaine Peters has over a decade of experience working with youth and lobbying governments on the issue of tobacco control. He was instrumental in the development of Canada’s largest youth anti-tobacco program, exposé, which saw youth smoking rates in the City of Ottawa drop by almost 25%. Peters is currently a board member for the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control.
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