Ottawa, ON – This World No Tobacco Day, The Lung Association challenges Canadians to urge their MPs to say yes to plain and standardized tobacco packaging and help create a future in which everyone can breathe with ease.
This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) chose to highlight the threat to development that tobacco poses. The Lung Association applauds the government’s commitment to implement plain and standardized tobacco packaging – legislation with great benefits to Canada’s health and economy – and urges Canadians to show their support. Last month, The Lung Association, along with The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society, launched Say Yes to Plain Packs campaign. The campaign asks for Canadians’ support in creating a healthier future.
“We know that tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease,” says Debra Lynkowski, CEO of The Lung Association – National. “Diseases that result from smoking are not only an economic burden on our health systems, they take breath and years of quality life away from Canadians. We need to change that story.”
“It is our responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure that youth are not lured into this dangerous addiction with the glitter and glam of attractive packaging,” she adds.
Despite the decline in smoking rates in Canada, almost 4.2 million Canadians aged 15 and older (15 per cent) are still smoking. Furthermore, tobacco kills 37,000 Canadians annually. Research and global comparisons to countries who have successfully introduced plain and standardized packaging have shown that this change would protect Canadian youth by preventing an uptake of smoking.
“Taking away the attractive shapes and colours takes power away from the tobacco industry and gives that power to Canadians who want to live in a smoke-free future where everyone can breathe.”
Say Yes to Plain Packs campaign gives Canadians an opportunity to have their voices heard by emailing their message of support to their MP. To show your support for Plain and Standardized Packaging, visit http://takeaction.cancer.ca/#/take_action_steps.step1/Canada/campaign/123 and let your MP know. For more information on plain and standardized packaging, visit www.plaintruth.ca. For more information about World No Tobacco Day visit http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2017/event/en/ .