Smok­ing rates continue to de­cline

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

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.”

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