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Why tobacco control is important

Tobacco use is the number 1 cause of preventable disease and death in Canada and causes 45,000 Canadian deaths each year.

Smoking causes about 30% of cancer deaths in Canada and about 85% of lung cancer deaths.

  • More Canadians die from lung cancer than any other cancer

    In 2017, 28,600 Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer and 21,100 died of the disease.

    The number of lung cancer deaths exceeds the total number of deaths from colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.  

  • Smoking causes many types of cancer

    In addition to lung cancer, smoking can cause many other cancers including:

    • laryngeal
    • oral
    • stomach
    • pancreatic
    • kidney
    • bladder
    • ovarian
    • cervical
    • colorectal
    • pharyngeal
    • esophageal
    • nasal cavity
    • liver 
    • acute myelogenous leukemia
    • ureter
  • Smoking starts early

    The overwhelming majority of smokers begin to smoke as teens or pre-teens. In 2015, smoking among youth aged 15–19 years was 10% or about 201,000 teens. Among Canadians over the age of 12, smoking in 2016 was 17% or about 5.2 million Canadians.

  • Find out more about tobacco control
  • PE partners

    PEI Tobacco Reduction Alliance (PETRA)

    PETRA was formed in 1999 and brought together government and non-government agencies, groups and organizations concerned with the health, social and economic consequences of tobacco use.

    PETRA was initially formed to plan and implement a comprehensive tobacco reduction strategy for the province. Since that time, PETRA members (working in partnership with the Council for a Smoke-Free PEI) have been working together to support, implement and evaluate the group’s overarching goals. These goals have included:

    • preventing tobacco use among Island youth;

    • encouraging and helping smokers at all ages and stages to quit; and

    • protecting the public by promoting healthy environments and eliminating exposure to second hand smoke.

    The Council for a Smoke Free PEI (CSFPEI)

    The Council for a Smoke Free PEI has been working for over 25 years to educate Islanders about the health hazards of tobacco products and to help reduce the use of tobacco and the exposure to its lethal effects. The majority of the Council’s efforts focus on advocacy work (lobbying for smoke-free legislation, for example.)



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