Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/May 29, 2020 – Every year on May 31, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and other partners around the globe join the World Health Organization to celebrate World No Tobacco Day. Established in 1988, the day is intended to highlight the major health risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
This year, World No Tobacco Day presents an opportunity expose promotion tactics used in the tobacco industry to entice young people, and provide youth with the information they need to make informed choices about tobacco products. To remain profitable, tobacco and related industries must continuously find new consumers to replace the ones that are dying from using their products. Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year, and are responsible for 25% of cancer related deaths worldwide. Tobacco industries are targeting a new generation of potential users. While many government restrictions have been imposed in Canada to help limit the influence of tobacco marketing, some of the tactics used to market to children and adolescents include:
- Selling a variety of flavours, most of which are attractive to children and adolescents
- Using social media and creative marketing to reach a young audience
- Demonstrating use of tobacco products in entertainment media
- Providing free product samples, or selling single stick cigarettes to make addiction more affordable
“We are encouraging young people in our region to recognize and resist the manipulation attempts of the tobacco industry and become a smoke free generation” says Dr. Alexa Caturay, Public Health Physician at HPEPH. “This issue is particularly important in our region, as Hastings and Prince Edward Counties experience higher rates of smoking, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), respiratory disease, and hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease and stroke than the rest of the province.”
By recognizing and resisting the tobacco industry’s attempts to encourage purchase and addiction, youth can take an important step to improve the quality of their health and life.
Need help quitting? While HPEPH offices are currently closed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health staff are available to answer your questions, provide support, and discuss nicotine replacement options. Call us at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803 ext. 600 or visit hpePublicHealth.ca for more information.
Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.