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Smoking in Canada

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) reports a decline in overall daily and occasional smoking prevalence from 17.7% in 2015 to 16.2% in 2017. In 2017 across all age groups, smoking was found to be least common among youth aged 12 to 17 (3.5% prevalence). The CCHS covers the population 12 years of age and over living in the ten provinces and the three territories, with a sample size of 65,000. WHO figures for the general population differ, and show a reduction in overall smoking prevalence from 28% in 2000 to 14% in 2015, and a projection to decrease to 9% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates are not age standardised, and were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust than in the first edition.

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April 09, 2024 by

Nicotine pouches: Salvation for smokers or temptation for teens?

Canadian health charities, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, opposed a new nicotine pouch product by Imperial Tobacco Canada, fearing it could attract youth and criticized Health Canada's approval. Despite its potential as a safer smoking cessation aid, concerns over flavors and marketing tactics led to the backlash. Health Minister Mark Holland vowed to address the issue, emphasizing protection of minors. The debate highlights the importance of proper regulation, responsible marketing, and considering safer nicotine alternatives for smokers. The focus should be on reducing smoking-related deaths and promoting effective cessation methods.

March 29, 2024 by

Predictable, Avoidable and Harmful: Canada’s Nicotine Pouch Fiasco

Canada's handling of nicotine pouches has been criticized for going against its principles of peace, order, and good government. Health Canada initially discouraged their use but later authorized Zonnic for smoking cessation. Despite proven effectiveness, public health groups criticized Zonnic's marketing towards youth. Politicians have proposed restrictions, with British Columbia limiting sales to pharmacies. The controversy highlights missteps by all parties involved, impacting smokers seeking harm reduction. The push for flavor bans on such products may hinder smoking cessation efforts and encourage illicit markets.

March 13, 2024 by

CANADA'S ZONNIC PANIC | John Oyston explains Canada's Zonnic pouch controversy

Zonnic pouches entered Canada with a bang in 2023 after they were approved as a smoking cessation aid, leading to their widespread availability throughout Canada. To explore why Zonnic has become so controversial, John Oyston joins us for this episode of GFN News where we dissect Zonnic's Canadian debut and the resultant response from Public Health institutions to this novel safer nicotine product.

March 13, 2024 by

It’s Not Ok | Flavour Bans Eschew Good Science | RegWatch

If the goal is to deny people their rights and to put lives in danger, then flavour bans would be a brilliant strategy. That’s the learned opinion of David Sweanor, a renowned tobacco control policy expert and adjunct professor in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa. With a growing number of jurisdictions implementing bans on flavours in nicotine vapour products, Health Canada is joining the fray by reviving its 2021 proposed flavour restrictions and moving quickly to implement a nationwide ban. In this episode of RegWatch, learn about Canada’s unaccountable and evangelical health non-profits applying pressure on behalf of the ban.

March 06, 2024 by

Opinion: Banning flavoured vapes would promote harm, not reduce it

Health Canada’s 15-person delegation is now back from the World Health Organization’s recent jamboree on tobacco control, held in Panama, a world tobacco smuggling nexus. The WHO has a vaping problem. Obsessive about tobacco but vehemently opposed to harm reduction, it effectively denies overwhelming scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are the most effective cigarette-quitting device ever invented. Energized and ready, the Health Canada team is turning its attention to discouraging e-cigarettes in this country.

February 28, 2024 by

Opinion: Nicotine pouches help smokers quit. Don't ban them

A major problem with pouches, the Society explains, is that they are not regulated like tobacco products. In particular, they come in different flavours, which is not legal for tobacco. But why are flavours a problem? Pouches aren’t a tobacco product. They contain literally zero tobacco. Why should they be regulated as if they were tobacco? Flavoured smoking cessation products have existed in Canada for some time. Nicorette, which comes in gums, lozenges, and sprays, offers a variety of flavours, including mint, fresh fruit, cool berry and mild spearmint.

February 27, 2024 by

Calgary group calls for tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches

A group of University of Calgary students are calling for the Alberta and Federal government to tightly regulate vaping and nicotine pouches.

February 27, 2024 by

Calgary group calls for tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches

A group of University of Calgary students are calling for the Alberta and Federal government to tightly regulate vaping and nicotine pouches.

February 27, 2024 by

Stricter e-cigarette and nicotine pouch regulations required for Canadian youth, group says

A health advocacy group, SAAVE, is urging for stricter regulations on vaping and e-cigarettes for youth in Calgary. They call for bans on flavored products, single-use devices, and nicotine pouches, with packaging restrictions. The aim is to prevent nicotine addiction and health issues in children. Dr. Campbell emphasizes the dangers of marketing addictive substances to youth. Dr. Yaholnitsky notes an increase in gum problems and tooth decay due to vaping. SAAVE member Kahlon expresses concern over the appeal of vaping to students. They are hosting an event to raise awareness and advocate for immediate government action to protect youth from vaping and nicotine addiction.

February 21, 2024 by

Opinion: We’ve won the war on smoking – except that we haven’t

It was one of the most successful public health campaigns in history: starting in the 1960s, Canadian governments began educating the public about the link between cancer and smoking, and then creating regulations on the marketing and branding of cigarettes. This effort shifted society, and smoking prevalence in Canada fell from 50 per cent in 1965 to under 11 per cent in 2021. Offices, restaurants, bars and even many parks are now smoke-free – all of which would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. The prevention campaigns that exist are working, and most people aren’t smokers.