Health Canada

Health Canada

March 25, 2011 12:56 ET

Government of Canada to Explore New Options for Tobacco Control

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - The Government of Canada has extended the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) for another year, to allow for evaluation of recent initiatives and to explore ongoing approaches for the future of tobacco control in Canada, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today.

"Under the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy, federal, provincial and territorial efforts have been successful in reducing smoking in Canada and preventing youth from starting to smoke," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Health Canada is currently examining ways to ensure Canada remains a world leader in tobacco control and that past gains are maintained."

Maintaining funding under the FTCS will allow the government to continue to support smokers in their efforts to quit; continue to address the issue of contraband tobacco, under the leadership of Public Safety Canada; and work towards implementation of recently announced new health warnings on cigarette and little cigar packages.

The FTCS aims to reduce tobacco-attributable disease and death in Canada. Since its inception, the federal government has provided leadership through the FTCS and worked with provincial and territorial governments as well as other stakeholders to create a strong tobacco control environment in Canada.

As a result, Canada has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world. Smoking rates dropped from 22% in 2001 to 18% in 2009, representing about 500,000 fewer smokers. In 2009, the youth smoking rate was 13%, the lowest rate Health Canada has recorded.

Under the FTCS, the Government of Canada dedicates $15.8 million annually to support a range of tobacco projects across Canada that are aimed at helping people stop smoking, preventing youth from starting to smoke, and protecting Canadians from exposure to second hand smoke.

A particular focus for the Government of Canada is the protection of youth from the dangers of tobacco. For example, to confront the increasing popularity of flavoured little cigars with youth, in 2009 the Government of Canada passed the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act. The Act includes a ban on the sale of cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps that contain specified additives, including most flavouring agents, that can be added to increase the attractiveness of tobacco products.

The FTCS has been extended until March 31, 2012. Health Canada's evaluation of the FTCS and its related initiatives should be completed by the end of 2011.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Jenny VanAlstyne
    Public Inquiries: