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World No Tobacco Day - May 31

Letter from Robert MacDonald, President & CEO, LungNSPEI

May 31st was World No Tobacco Day, and it's important to recognize that many individuals are still grappling with tobacco addiction, underscoring the need for enhanced support systems to aid them in their journey toward cessation. Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the dangerous effects of smoking, tobacco usage rates remain alarmingly high, posing a significant threat to public health. In order to achieve the federal objective of reducing smoking prevalence to less than 5% by 2035, we must bring smoking cessation initiatives to the forefront of our priorities.

In the past Nova Scotia has been a leader in tobacco control, however in recent times, Prince Edward Island taking a lead role: restricting the sale of tobacco to individuals under 21, demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding public health, and preventing nicotine addiction among youth. We were even more pleased with the announcement of a consultation that will look at exploring smoke-free generations, and limiting the sale of tobacco exclusively to tobacconist shops. This consultation reflects a forward-thinking approach aimed at creating a healthier environment for future generations.

We can not sit idly by while insidious tactics are used to get new generations addicted to tobacco, like using alternative nicotine products such as vaping devices and nicotine pouches. These emerging products not only jeopardize the progress made in curbing traditional tobacco consumption but also present new challenges to our collective efforts.

At LungNSPEI, we are committed to tackling these pressing concerns head-on. Our recent initiatives, including the 'Community Advised Smoking Cessation' project and ongoing ‘Youth Vaping Awareness Days, have been instrumental in amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and informing systemic changes in smoking cessation programming. Through collaborations with diverse stakeholders, we have developed targeted vaping education resources, conducted educational workshops in schools, and implemented tailored cessation programs, empowering countless individuals to break free from the grips of tobacco addiction.

Nevertheless, our work is far from over. The fight against tobacco addiction demands resilience, innovation, and unwavering dedication. We should be doing all we can as a society, to explore groundbreaking solutions such as the Smoke-Free Generations concept, which envisions a future where smoking is virtually non-existent. Innovative ideas like this can help pave the way for healthier generations to come.

As World No Tobacco Day has just passed, let us reflect on the progress we've made and recommit ourselves to the challenges that lie ahead. Together, let's strive to create a world where tobacco use is the exception rather than the norm—a world where future generations can breathe easily, free from the grips of tobacco addiction. LungNSPEI continues to advocate, and we invite you to join us in shaping a brighter, tobacco-free future for all.


Robert MacDonald

President & CEO, LungNSPEI

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