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SASKATCHEWAN WORKING TO REDUCE TOBACCO USE

Released on May 31, 2013

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day, May 31, the Government of Saskatchewan is reaffirming its commitment to reduce tobacco use in the province.  The Ministry of Health, together with its partners and stakeholders, continues to make progress in the areas of protection, prevention and cessation through the provincial tobacco reduction strategy.
 
“As we mark World No Tobacco Day, I want to thank all of our valued partners who are involved in the effort to protect, educate and support people at risk from tobacco,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “Reducing tobacco use, particularly among young people, will bring us closer to our goal of achieving a healthier population.”

The Ministry of Health recently conducted an innovative social marketing campaign called Smokestream aimed at encouraging youth to remain tobacco-free.  The campaign featured an interactive website, www.smokestream.ca and classroom sessions with more than 3,000 students across the province.  Their opinions were used to create a TV and cinema ad with a persuasive anti-tobacco message.

At a local level, more than $700,000 in funding was awarded to three regional projects that reach people and areas of the province with the highest tobacco use rates: The Green Light Project, Northern Saskatchewan Tobacco Reduction Initiative and the Battlefords Family Health Centre Smoke-free Community Initiative.

“These projects are building capacity, supporting prevention initiatives and engaging youth while drawing upon the community expertise and creativity,” Duncan said.  “They demonstrate the success we can achieve in tobacco reduction when we invest in local action.”

“The funding received from the Ministry of Health provided a much-needed boost toward capacity building and sustainable tobacco reduction activities in the north,” Deputy Medical Health Officer for Athabasca Health Authority, Keewatin Yatthé and  Mamawetan Churchill River Health Regions Dr. Moliehi Khaketla said.  “We’ve been able to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop culturally-appropriate resources and deliver tobacco reduction workshops to more than a hundred youth throughout the three northern health authorities.”

The province’s other important tobacco reduction initiatives include:

  • The Tobacco Control Act and the Tobacco Control Regulations, which were put in place to reduce youth access to tobacco products and protect Saskatchewan people from the harms of environmental tobacco smoke.  
  • Providing funding to the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division to deliver the Smokers’ Help-Line at 1-877-513-5333.
  • Helping people quit using tobacco and offering a range of training and resources for health care professionals through Partnership to Assist with the Cessation of Tobacco (PACT).  PACT resources are available at www.makeapact.ca/.
  • The “View and Vote” program offered every two years to students in Grades 6 to 12, who view anti-tobacco ads and vote for the ones they think are most effective. 

The Canadian Community Health Survey indicates the overall smoking prevalence in Saskatchewan decreased by 3.4 per cent between 2007 and 2010.  In 2009-10, 22.0 per cent of the Saskatchewan population aged 12 years and over reported smoking daily or occasionally - an all-time low.  The national average is 20.4 per cent.

For more information on tobacco reduction in Saskatchewan and supports to help people quit smoking visit www.health.gov.sk.ca/smoking-and-your-health.

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For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: tmcmurchy@health.gov.sk.ca  

Dr. Moliehi Khaketla
La Ronge
Phone: 306-425-8588

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