KINGSTON, Ont. – The Lung Association joined scores of health and research experts last weekend to discuss strategies to eliminate commercial tobacco use in Canada. The Tobacco Endgame – a summit hosted by Queen’s University – invited experts to examine a series of recommendations aimed at reducing the rate of commercial tobacco use in Canada to below five per cent by the year 2035.
“Tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable lung disease in Canada and we need to address that. There’s still so much work to be done to ensure the Tobacco Endgame goals become a reality. We need to work with government to drive effective legislation and programs that will decrease tobacco use in Canada,” says Debra Lynkowski, CEO of The Canadian Lung Association.
The Canadian Lung Association along with others has worked diligently to reduce smoking rates in Canada. Previous regulations, including implementation of graphic health warnings on tobacco packages, taxation increase on tobacco packages and improving access to cessation medication, have had a tremendous impact on reducing smoking rates in Canada to 18 per cent. More work still needs to be done to meet the Endgame’s goal of “less than 5 by ’35.”
“The bottom line is that we want to see a future where every Canadian can breathe easily,” Lynkowski summarizes. “The well-being of Canadians’ lungs is our reason for being. We will keep fighting until all Canadians don’t have to struggle to breathe and commercial tobacco use is a thing of the past. We are fully committed to the Endgame’s goals.”
The Lung Association has pledged to complement its current efforts and work diligently to lead and support the Endgame goal by continuing to provide accurate and pivotal lung health information to Canadians and healthcare professionals, working diligently with decision-makers to affect legislative change, and fund and share today’s most innovative research in lung health.
“We support the creation of the Tobacco Endgame Cabinet and look forward to many more discussions on innovative ideas that will make a smoke-free Canada a reality.”
For more information on The Tobacco Endgame for Canada Summit, please visit the website.