The Government of Canada has extended the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) for another year, to allow for evaluation of recent initiatives and to explore ongoing approaches for the future of tobacco control in Canada, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced.
“Under the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy, federal, provincial and territorial efforts have been successful in reducing smoking in Canada and preventing youth from starting to smoke,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Health Canada is currently examining ways to ensure Canada remains a world leader in tobacco control and that past gains are maintained.”
Maintaining funding under the FTCS will allow the government to continue to support smokers in their efforts to quit; continue to address the issue of contraband tobacco, under the leadership of Public Safety Canada; and work towards implementation of recently announced new health warnings on cigarette and little cigar packages.
The FTCS aims to reduce tobacco-attributable disease and death in Canada. Since its inception, the federal government has provided leadership through the FTCS and worked with provincial and territorial governments as well as other stakeholders to create a strong tobacco control environment in Canada.
As a result, Canada has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world. Smoking rates dropped from 22% in 2001 to 18% in 2009, representing about 500,000 fewer smokers. In 2009, the youth smoking rate was 13%, the lowest rate Health Canada has recorded.
Under the FTCS, the Government of Canada dedicates $15.8 million annually to support a range of tobacco projects across Canada that are aimed at helping people stop smoking, preventing youth from starting to smoke, and protecting Canadians from exposure to second hand smoke
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