This month, the Department of Health and Wellness is holding consultations on legislation to ban flavoured tobacco sales and keep addictive nicotine products away from children and youth.
From the perspective of the Canadian Cancer Society, this legislation has the potential to deliver dramatic health benefits to Nova Scotians for generations to come. We congratulate the government and support its efforts to protect the health of future generations.
It is fitting that the consultations overlap with National Non-Smoking Week, Jan. 18-24. National Non-Smoking Week is a time to get informed, have discussions and for smokers, a time to turn a page. On Weedless Wednesday, Jan. 21, we urge Nova Scotians (and all Canadians) to quit smoking or pick a date to quit for good.
It is also an appropriate time to reflect on the toll that tobacco use takes on the health of Canadians. Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and death in Nova Scotia, where 1,700 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking causes about 30 per cent of cancer deaths in Canada and Nova Scotia and about 85 per cent of lung cancer deaths. Inside Nova Scotia, over $170 million is spent annually treating tobacco-related diseases.