The Nicotine Debate
Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of premature death in Canada; smoking kills 45,000 Canadians each year. That’s why Canada’s Tobacco Strategy aspires to reach less than 5% tobacco use by 2035.
Today, there are approximately 4.6 million Canadians (15%) using tobacco, of which approximately 3.9 million are cigarette smokers. Smoking rates among Indigenous Peoples are more than double the national average.
Canada’s Tobacco Strategy recognizes the potential of harm reduction – helping those who can’t or won’t quit using nicotine to identify less harmful options – while continuing to protect young people and non-smokers from inducements to use nicotine and tobacco.
Striking an effective balance between educating adult smokers on less harmful nicotine products and preventing young people from using nicotine is key. What can we learn from other jurisdictions whose smoking rates are decreasing faster than ours?