New programs and policies to help Canadians live their lives more fully

22 July 2019

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide trusted cancer information, offer programs and services to help people with cancer, and advocate to governments for important social change.

A recent CCS-funded study found that about 4 in 10 cancer cases can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians. Statistics like this show the importance of CCS’s commitment to preventing cancer, educating Canadians, and supporting Canadians who are affected by cancer.

The following stories share CCS’s recent impacts and introductions of new programs and policies to help Canadians live their lives more fully.

Helping the construction industry quit smoking

Helping the construction industry quit smoking On June 19, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced more than $3.8 million in funding over 5 years to support our Construction Industry Tobacco Cessation Project in partnership with EllisDon.

The project will offer tailored tobacco cessation support — including an individual quit plan— at EllisDon construction sites in Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto and Kingston) and Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton), with more sites to be added as the project roles out. This project builds on a 2014 pilot project led by Ottawa Public Health that made smoking cessation programming available at 19 Ottawa construction sites.

This financial investment is part of Canada's Tobacco Strategy, which was launched in 2018 with the goal of driving down the smoking rate in Canada to less than 5% by 2035.

Celebrating Canada’s new tobacco plain packaging regulations

In May, Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced the adoption of new national regulations for tobacco plain packaging. The new regulations are the most effective tobacco plain packaging requirements in the world.

CCS has been advocating for tobacco plain packaging regulations since the 1990s. In 1994, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health recommended plain packaging.

The new regulations represent an enormous, historic public health victory that has been achieved despite extensive tobacco industry opposition.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. By introducing comprehensive plain packaging, Canada is implementing a significant measure to reduce tobacco use and save lives.

Advocating for federal parties to make cancer a priority this election

CCS is urging political party leaders to make cancer a priority this federal election by adopting the recommendations outlined in CCS’s 2019 federal election platform.

CCS has outlined three specific recommendations that will directly support people living with cancer and also prevent more people from ever being diagnosed:

    1. Extend the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit from 15 to 26 weeks so that people going through cancer treatment have the same amount of time off as those who care for them.

    2. Help hold the tobacco industry accountable for the damaging health effects of tobacco use by requiring that they pay Health Canada $66 million annually to recover the cost of programs to reduce tobacco use.

    3. Close the gaps in coverage for take-home cancer drugs so that all Canadians can have equal access to cancer treatment drugs, enabling them to undergo treatment in the comfort of their home.

Together these actions will help stop more cancers before they start, provide much needed support to people living with cancer and their families and help better manage the long-term impacts of cancer on our communities. Learn more about our vital advocacy work.