As part of Tobacco Reduction Month in January, the Canadian Cancer Society has declared National Non-Smoking week Jan. 20 to 26 to reduce the rate of tobacco use in Saskatchewan. This year’s theme is "Live, work, play... even better tobacco-free."
Currently, one in four Saskatchewan youth, or 25 per cent, use some form of tobacco compared with a 17 per cent national average, according to a Youth Smoking Survey conducted in 2010 and 2011.
The tobacco industry masks the unpleasant taste of tobacco with flavours such as menthol, cherry, strawberry and vanilla to make it easier for children to start smoking or chewing tobacco.
Although cigarettes are the most common form of tobacco in use, all forms of tobacco are harmful, including cigarillos, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, bidis, kreteks and pipes.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease, disability and death in Canada, resulting in 37,000 deaths each year. Smoking causes about 30 per cent of cancer deaths in Canada and about 85 per cent of lung cancer cases.
Tobacco use kills more Canadians than alcohol, drug abuse, car accidents, all other accidents, fires, murders, suicides and AIDS combined. The danger created by second hand smoke extends tobacco’s threat to anyone exposed to it.
Tobacco is the only product that kills when used exactly as intended. It is as addictive as heroin and cocaine, and there is no safe level of consumption.
The Smokers’ Helpline is a free confidential service that offers a personalized approach for those interested in breaking the tobacco habit at their own pace.
Call 1-877-513-5333 or visit the website at www.smokershelpline.ca.