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

February 21, 2024 by theglobeandmail.com

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.

12.50% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 3.9 million current smokers in Canada 14.80% of men are current smokers but only 10.20% of women.



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