On behalf of the Canadian Lung Association, I would like to congratulate The Liberal Party of Canada on yesterday’s victory.
We are a non-partisan organization that relies on collaboration with the party(ies) in power at all levels in order to develop policies that result in a country that’s easier to breathe in for all. We trust that this government will continue to engage us as subject matter experts in lung health in key decisions.
Much of our success in policy changes that positively affect the lung health of Canadians relies on our collaboration with all levels of government. While many positive changes have taken place during the past four years, we know that more work remains to be done. We are hopeful that the newly elected government can help us achieve some of the goals.
Canadians continue to face challenges to their lung health. We are in the midst of a vaping epidemic, which requires urgent action. Similarly, still far too many Canadians use tobacco products, which remains the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. For those suffering with lung disease, access to medications can be too costly and new alternatives difficult to access. All the while, the quality of the air we breathe continues to worsen leading to a greater incidence of lung disease and aggravation of symptoms for those who already struggle to breathe.
We urge the newly elected government to support lung health by committing to the following actions:
- Implement immediate action to effectively regulate vaping in conjunction with dedicated funding for further research, surveillance, and public education;
- Establish an annual cost recovery fee on the tobacco industry to provide a full reimbursement for the $66 million annual cost of the tobacco control strategy;
- Ensure Canadians have equitable access to all respiratory medication. This includes ensuring that barriers such as affordability don’t exist;
- Make strong commitments to minimize the impact of air quality issues on lung health.
We are hopeful that together, we can achieve a Canada that is easy to breathe in for all.
For more information about the issues of concern, we would like to invite you to visit www.electtobreathe.ca.