Health groups support tobacco reduction measures
January 17, 2010, Regina – During National Non-Smoking Week, January 16-22, health groups are applauding steps taken by the government to reduce Saskatchewan’s high smoking rates.
In 2010, two important pieces of legislation were passed and a provincial tobacco reduction strategy was developed. These measures, health groups say, have been tested elsewhere and found effective in helping prevent young people from smoking, in helping smokers who want to quit, and in protecting people from second-hand smoke.
“Steps such as banning smoking in cars when children are present are an important part of a comprehensive strategy to protect children and others from tobacco and second-hand smoke,” said Lucy Buller, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “It is important to address Saskatchewan’s high smoking rates through a number of measures. No single measure will work by itself,” she added.
“The tobacco reduction measures that have been introduced in Saskatchewan are being recognized during National Non-Smoking Week,” says Lynn Greaves, president of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction. “An advertisement campaign, “Saskatchewan’s putting the pieces together” recognizes Saskatchewan’s progress,” she added.
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan, is particularly supportive of the government’s recent move to list two smoking cessation drugs on the Saskatchewan Formulary. “The Lung Association is pleased that the government is assisting people to overcome their addiction to nicotine by making these products more accessible” says Jennifer Miller, Vice-President of Health Education. “It is important that Saskatchewan residents know there are effective strategies available to help them with nicotine withdrawal and dependence.”
During 2010, Saskatchewan introduced a number of tobacco reduction measures including a ban of tobacco use on school grounds, a listing of two cessation drugs on the Saskatchewan Formulary, a ban of smoking within three meters of the doorways and windows of public buildings, a ban on outdoor tobacco advertising and a ban on smoking in the common areas of apartments and condominiums. On April 1st, the final part of the Legislation will prohibit the sale of tobacco in pharmacies.
Saskatchewan has one of the highest smoking rates in Canada. The Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey reported a smoking prevalence of 22.3% in Saskatchewan in 2009, compared to a national prevalence of 17.5%.
For more information, call (306) 766-6327 or contact:
Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction
Lung Association of Saskatchewan
Rhae Ann Bromley
Heart and Stroke Foundation