#Quebec; #Tobacco; #Smoking; #Covid19Pandemic; #VapingProducts
A few days before the World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on May 31, the launch of the Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Quebec 2020-2025 recalls the importance of continue collective efforts in the fight against smoking, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horacio Arruda. Image credit: Twitter handle
“The face of the fight against smoking is changing...great popularity and accessibility of vaping products as well as the legalization of cannabis are among the new challenges...detailed measures included in the new strategy will guide our efforts to reach the target of 10% smokers in Quebec by 2025," said Horacio Arruda , National Director of Public Health
Because of the deaths, illnesses and financial burden it causes, smoking remains a public health priority. In Quebec, in recent decades, the smoking rate has trended downward, but has stagnated at around 18 percent between 2014 and 2018 and remains higher among certain groups of the population.
We should add that the arrival and diversification of vaping products offered on the market, as well as the enthusiasm of young people for these products, requires the development of effective intervention strategies to prevent the risks associated with them.
It should also be noted that more and more studies indicate that people who smoke are more vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the higher risks of severe symptoms and complications. More than ever, quitting smoking therefore becomes a protective factor for health.
Thus, in order to guide and reinforce the concerted efforts of all the actors involved in the fight against smoking, the strategy includes a set of measures that aim to reach the target of 10% of daily and occasional smokers in Quebec.
These measures revolve around four areas of intervention: denormalization of smoking; prevention of the use of tobacco and vaping products among young people; quitting smoking; and protection from exposure to second-hand and third-hand smoke from tobacco products.