Funding for the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) should be increased so that Health Canada can have more impact to reduce smoking, including among youth. The existing funding level of $38 million per year is equal to just 1.1% of the $3.5 billion collected by the federal government through tobacco taxes. In the United States, per capita federal investments in tobacco control are more than double that in Canada. The current FCTS expires March 31, 2017. It is essential that there be a more effective and properly funded replacement to provide the comprehensive and sustained tobacco strategy Canada needs.
Tobacco control – what we’re fighting for right now
Raise awareness of the cost of tobacco
There are many costs associated with tobacco use, including premature death and a wide range of illnesses and cancers. These health effects are physically and emotionally devastating to individuals, their families and loved ones. In an effort to help raise awareness about these cosets, the Society commissioned GPIAtlantic to calculate the cost of tobacco use to the Saskatchewan economy. Their report estimates the total cost is $1.1 billion annually.
Stop cancer before it starts
Smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths. For each person who quits smoking or dies, the tobacco industry needs youth to become addicted. The tobacco industry has developed new tactics (flavours, menthol capsules, etc) to build a fresh customer base.
To combat this, Saskatchewan must adopt new legislation as other provinces have done. The provincial government also needs to increase funding for prevention and cessations programs.
Tell your MLA that Saskatchewan needs to make cancer prevention a priority by reducing smoking rates through legislation and programs.