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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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July 11, 2024 by

Where to put the pouch: Prof says nicotine pouches shouldn’t be in corner stores

Nicotine pouches are sold in convenience stores in Newfoundland and Labrador — but proposed federal regulations could put a stop to that. Other provinces like B.C. and Quebec have moved the product behind pharmacy counters, and the federal health minister has signaled he wants the rest of the country to follow suit. Dr. Leslie Phillips thinks it’s a good idea, but a retail group representing convenience stores across the country disagrees.

June 19, 2024 by

Unapproved nicotine pouches recalled in Canada. Which ones? - National

Health Canada has issued recalls for unauthorized flavoured nicotine pouches in Canada. The affected brands include Zyn and XQS, with various flavors and nicotine levels. Consumers are advised to check for recalled products and seek medical advice if concerned. Philip Morris International, the maker of Zyn, supports the government's actions. Only Zonnic by Imperial Tobacco is authorized for sale in Canada. Health experts and officials are worried about the appeal of nicotine pouches to children and are considering restrictions. Health Canada emphasizes that these products should only be used by adults for smoking cessation. Unauthorized pouches are still being sold in stores.

June 03, 2024 by

Flavour Ban | Rights 4 Vapers Ottawa News Conference | RegWatch

Advocacy group Rights4Vapers holds a news conference in Ottawa to criticize the federal government’s possible ban on flavoured vapour products. Health Canada proposed a ban in 2021, but it was never put into effect. Providing remarks are the group’s spokesperson Maria Papaioannoy, Marion Burt and lawyer Douglas Elliott.

May 20, 2024 by

Vaping in Canada may cost more as of July 1. Here’s why

A federal government proposal plans to increase vape prices, aiming to reduce underage vaping rates, but experts criticize the tax as too low. Concerns arise over potential unintended consequences, like an increase in cigarette smoking. Despite worries, the government believes the tax is a step in the right direction. Some fear the impact on the vaping market, leading to possible black market activities. Vaping industry experts warn about the effects of banning flavors and increasing taxes. Health professionals stress the importance of government intervention to prevent long-term health risks associated with vaping.

May 10, 2024 by

Most Canadians Would Emulate UK’s Cigarette Purchase Law

Canadians support the UK's progressive cigarette purchasing age increase and labeling laws. Over two-thirds agree with new warning labels, while 65% endorse raising the legal age to buy cigarettes annually starting from 2009 onwards. A survey shows willingness to adopt similar regulations in Canada, with majority support from voters of different political parties. Prevalence of tobacco, marijuana, and e-cigarette use varies by region and age group. Smokers generally approve of warning labels, but are divided on implementing UK-like laws. The survey, conducted online in April 2024, polled 1,002 Canadian adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

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.