Letter writing campaign to protect funds for tobacco control
On Friday March 2, 2012 The Lung Association of Saskatchewan's staff, students from the School of public Health, University of Saskatchewan and The Lung Association's youth ambassadors wrote messages on cigarette packages and are mailing them to the provincial and federal government in the hopes of getting their attention.
Both the provincial and federal tobacco control strategy's funding is set to expire on March 31, 2012. The primary purpose of the tobacco control strategies are to reduce tobacco-related death and disease. The strategies were built on tenets of prevention, protection, cessation and education.
The Federal Tobacco Control Strategy specifically represents the most ambitious effort Canada has ever undertaken to fight the tobacco epidemic. We are proud of our federal and provincial government's role throughout the past decade in tobacco control. However, the work is far from done. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, disease, and disability worldwide. Tobacco kills about 37,000 Canadians a year. That is more than the total number of deaths from AIDS, car accidents, suicide, murder, fires and accidental poisonings combined. Overall 4.4 billion dollars in health care costs are spent on people who smoke.
More specifically in Saskatchewan, the smoking prevalence among Saskatchewan youth aged 15-19 years has been consistently higher than the rest of Canada. We trust that our government will continue to build on the successes of our past and initiate new innovative strategies for the future, while protecting upcoming generations of Canadians. Something so important deserves attention. We hope that by writing the provincial and federal governments the tobacco control strategies will be protected...and lives will be saved.