Smoking rates continue to decline
The Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT) believes that recently released statistics from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) contain some good news for the people of this province.
The rate of smoking among 20-24 year-olds has seen a significant drop from 32.9 per cent in 2010 to 25 per cent in 2011.
What’s more, the percentage of smokers aged 15and-over has not significantly changed from 2010 (20 per cent smoking rate), the 2011 data marks the first time since CTUMS began reporting in 1999 that the smoking rate in Newfoundland and Labrador is recorded to be below 20 per cent (18.9 per centsmoking rate).
“The shift in the 20-24 year old rate hopefully represents a change in attitude among young adults in our province” said Dr. Noreen Fardy, chair of the ACT Board of Directors.
Dr. Fardy added that “More and more people are realizing that tobacco use has a significant negative effect on personal health and in an age where people are doing whatever they can to live healthier lives, smoking just does not fit.”
Kevin Coady, executive director of ACT, pointed out that while the newest data is encouraging, it is imperative that public health advocates and governments remain vigilant in the fight against tobacco. Even with slightly shifting smoking rates, tobacco continues to be the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, killing 37,000 Canadians, including over 800 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, each year.
“Preventing young people from starting to smoke as well as encouraging and assisting individuals to quit smoking are the priorities” Coady said. “Every one per cent decline in our provincial smoking rates translates into huge public health benefits.”