Healthy communities support the reduction of tobacco and tobacco-like product misuse by establishing bylaws, increasing community awareness, and making resources and programs available to protect people from the harms of tobacco, both first and second hand.
Prohibiting tobacco use in multi-unit dwellings can help protect non-smoking residents from frequent exposure to second-hand smoke. Prohibiting smoking in outdoor public places such as sports grounds and picnic areas may also reduce exposure of children to tobacco products and second-hand smoke. Tobacco taxation policies, eliminating product placement/displays at retail check-outs, and restricting sales to a given area, or areas have been highly successful in reducing smoking rates among Albertans1.
Tobacco use is the leading risk factor for many kinds of cancer and a cause of other chronic conditions especially respiratory. A recent Alberta study estimated that approximately 2,500 cancer cases in Alberta in 2012 could be attributed to tobacco2.
Traditional tobacco use
Indigenous peoples have been using tobacco for centuries and for many purposes. Traditionally, tobacco is a respected ceremonial tool used in a variety of ways for healing and in spiritual practices, among other uses. Early government policies enacted to remove First Nations’ people from their land, and the institution of mandatory Residential School attendance initiated a gradual, yet decisive erosion of a traditional, healthy way of being. The ceremonial use of tobacco was denigrated. Decades of inadequate social and living conditions - the social determinants of health – have created the environments conducive to harmful risk behaviours such as the mis-use of commercial tobacco.
Check out a few proven strategies
Explore programs, organization, tools and resources to reduce tobacco use
Tobacco Reduction Program, Alberta Health Services
Provincial program to support implementation of Government of Alberta’s Tobacco Reduction Strategy
Supporting Tobacco Cessation in The Workplace (Health Canada)
Tools and resources for employers
Tobacco Reduction in Alberta
Tobacco Reduction Strategy -Act and ammendments
Creating Tobacco Free Futures, Government of Alberta
Alberta's strategy to prevent and reduce tobacco use 2012-2022
Protection from Outdoor Smoking
Taking it outside is no longer an option -here's why
First Nations People and Tobacco Misuse
Tobacco Information Series (2014)
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Provincial, national and global leadership to reduce and prevent tobacco use in Alberta and beyond.
Campaign for a smoke free Alberta
A coalition of prominent health oprganizations working to reduce tobacco use in Alberta
Provides phone and on-line supports to help individuals stop smoking
Respecting tobacco: ceremonial vs. commercial tobacco use? Canadian Lung Association Blog
The BC Lung Association was recently invited to attend a Respecting Tobacco Training Session at the Musqueam First Nation, organized by the First Nations Health Directors Association
Native American Tobacco Education Fact Sheets: Ceremonial Use, Native American Cancer Research
Information on Ceremonial Use vs. Habitual Use of tobacco
Tobacco use and misuse among Indigenous children and youth in Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society
Position statement from the Canadian Paediatric Society
Build a Healthy Community
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