Canadian Cancer Society reacts to Throne Speech

19 February 2013

TORONTO -

The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased to hear reference to important cancer-related issues in today’s Throne Speech at the Ontario Legislature.

“We know that about half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect people’s health,” says Joanne Di Nardo, Senior Manager of Public Issues for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario. “We were reassured to hear that the government remains committed to health promotion, reducing smoking rates and supporting evidence-based health policy.”

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national leader in providing evidence-based information on more than 200 different types of cancer. To evaluate the evidence, the Society looks at the big picture. Information and policy recommendations are based on many scientific studies.

In 2012, an estimated 72,300 Ontarians were diagnosed with cancer and 27,900 were expected to die from the disease. According to a 2008 Ontario Health Quality Council report, 1 in 3 Ontarians will be affected by chronic disease such as cancer. Increased investments in health promotion and disease prevention are vital to the long-term sustainability of the province’s healthcare system.

While the Canadian Cancer Society through the support of volunteers and donors has seen important public policy gains to prevent cancer, save lives and help people living with the disease, the Society would like to see immediate action on the following public policy recommendations:

Indoor tanning

Indoor tanning bed use before the age of 35 significantly increases the risk of melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer is one of the most common forms of skin cancer in young Ontarians aged 15 to 29, and is one of the most preventable. The Society would like to see all youth under 18 years of age restricted from indoor tanning salons because parental consent and voluntary guidelines do not work. This proposed legislation has strong support from all political parties and Ontarians.

Tobacco control

Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Ontario. Significant progress has been made in tobacco control through the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, however smoking rates have failed to sustain a drop below 20 per cent. The Canadian Cancer Society fully supports recommendations made by the Tobacco Strategy Advisory Group and other measures stated in the 2012 Ontario budget, some of which include:

  • Implementing a contraband tobacco control strategy that includes educating the public about health and social problems associated with tobacco and undertaking research to help measure the impact of tobacco strategies on smoking levels in the province
  • Gradually increasing tobacco taxes by $13 per carton to meet the national average
  • Banning all flavoured tobacco products

The Society is convinced that the above policies will help reduce the number of lives adversely affected by cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Camille Beaubien

Senior Manager, Communications

Phone: 416-323-7181