Last Wednesday the Government of Canada launched a 7-week public consultation pertaining to the future of tobacco control in Canada, with the aim of renewing the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy that expires in March 2018. The aim is to reduce smokers from the current rate of 13% by 5% over the next two decades, which would essentially equate to a reduction of about two million smokers.
However some are sceptical about this proposal, “I would have liked to see that (five-per-cent goal) backed up with some indication that the government actually had a plan to achieve it, and was willing to be held accountable for achieving milestones along the way,” said research director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, Neil Collishaw, adding “We’ve had consultation on consultation on consultation and we still don’t have a renewed strategy.”
Collishaw is suggesting pushing the tobacco industry to move away from combustible cigarettes and also ban discount pricing on cigarettes, a move that has coincidentally been proposed earlier this week by two state lawmakers in New York. Additionally, the research director is also questioning whether being able to monitor what people do in residential buildings is really feasible.
A nod to electronic cigarettes
Ottawa lawyer and anti-smoking activist David Sweanor, feels positively about the fact that at least Canadian authorities are open to the idea of considering the products, rather than adopting the harsh forbidding stance that their American neighbours have.