March 27, 2011 - 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 today.
The FTCS has been extended until March 31, 2012. Health Canada's evaluation of the FTCS and its related initiatives should be completed by the end of 2011.
Background: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 establishes a framework for a comprehensive, fully-intgerated, amd multi-faceted approach to tobacco control. It is driven by the longstanding commitemnt of the Government of Canada to reduce the serious aand health effects of tobacco for Canadians. It focuses on four mutually reinforcing components: prevention, cessation, protection and product regulation.
The long-term outcome of the FTCS is to reduce tobacco-related disease and death in Canada. To pursue this long-term outcome, the FTCS will contribute the following tobacco control goal and objectives for April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2011.
See: Federal Tobacco Control Strategy Plans, Spending and Results
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.
A particular focus for the Government of Canada is the protection of youth from the dangers of tobacco. For example, to confront the increasing popularity of flavoured little cigars with youth, in 2009 the Government of Canada passed the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act. The Act includes a ban on the sale of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain specified additives, including most flavouring agents, that can be added to increase the attractiveness of tobacco products. (Canada - Parliament member introduced bill to close loophole to amend the Tobacco Act (C-32)..)
Reference: Government of Canada to Explore New Options for Tobacco Control, canada.comV (Marketwire, 3/25/2011.