Sunday is No-Tobacco Day.
- 19% of Canadians (15 years or older) were current smokers in 2007 – unchanged compared to 2006 and 2005.
- More men smoke than women.
- Smoking rates for youth have decreased in recent years with 15% of them (15-19 years old) currently smoking in 2007. Still, this smoking rate remains way too high.
The statistics are a little disconcerting, especially the fact that the numbers aren’t necessarily getting much smaller. The goal of World No-Tobacco Day, established in 1998 by the World Health Organization, is to “reduce the global burden of disease and death caused by tobacco, thereby protecting present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.”
This year’s theme is centered on the pictures that are now prominently featured on each package of cigarettes. You know the ones that are so gross you can hardly stand to see them behind the counter at the convenience store. (If you need a reminder, clickthings to do to get your ex back
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, but beware, some of them are pretty graphic.)
According to the WHO “Health warnings on tobacco product packaging are critical to any effective tobacco control strategy. They increase public awareness of the serious health risks of tobacco use and help to ensure that the packaging tells the truth about the deadly product within. Tobacco package health warnings that include images are a particularly powerful and cost-effective vehicle for communicating health risks.” These images have proven very effective, would you want your mouth to look like the one on the package? I think not!
There are plenty of resources out there for any smokers who want to quit, so if you know someone in that boat please encourage them to check out Health Canada, The Canadian Cancer Society or just call the smoker’s helpline.
Smoking is dangerous, not just for the individual but for non smokers too, so it’s time we reach out to those we care about and offer our support – May 31 is set aside to draw attention to this problem, so take a moment to pay it some attention and help end tobacco use.