Progress Made Towards a Smoke-Free Ontario

Ontario Committed to Achieving the Lowest Smoking Rate in Canada

Ontario has helped thousands of people quit smoking and lead healthier, more active lives over the past decade.

As part of Weedless Wednesday -- when all smokers are encouraged to abstain from smoking for the day -- the province is highlighting the progress made through the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, including:

  • More than 100,000 smokers have been treated at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) Program since 2005. 
  • Over 60,000 people have been reached since 2006 through the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation, which helps hospitals assist patients looking to quit smoking.
  • 58,800 Ontario Drug Benefit recipients have received smoking cessation prescription medications since August 2011.
  • 8,400 Ontario Drug Benefit recipients have received smoking cessation counseling from a pharmacy in their community since September 2011.
  • Approximately 20,000 callers and 9,000 online users are served each year by Smokers' Helpline operated by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Last year, the government took another important step to protect Ontarians from the harmful effects of tobacco use by introducing the Youth Smoking Prevention Act. The new legislation and proposed regulatory changes, if passed, would:

  • Increase penalties for selling tobacco to minors.
  • Make tobacco less tempting by banning most flavoured products.
  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco in specific places such as post-secondary education campuses. 
  • Further limit smoking in public areas including playgrounds and restaurant patios.

Ontario's commitment to the Smoke- Free Ontario Strategy will help achieve the government's Action Plan for Health Care goal to have the lowest smoking rate in the country. This is part of the government's plan to build a successful, healthy province where everyone has the opportunity to connect, contribute and achieve their goals.

QUOTES

" Our government is committed to protecting all Ontarians – and especially our youth – from the harmful effects of tobacco use through the tough new measures in the Youth Smoking Protection Act. Our government also remains committed to providing smokers with the support they need to kick the habit by increasing access to nicotine replacement therapy and counselling."
- Deb Matthews Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

" Recognizing that quitting requires the right support and care in order to quit and stay smokefree, we applaud Ontario’s commitment and efforts to achieve the lowest smoking rate in Canada by offering a variety of programs that help Ontarians quit."
- Dr. Peter Selby Chief Addictions Program and Clinician Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

QUICK FACTS

  • Smoking rates have decreased in Ontario from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2012, representing 255,000 fewer smokers.
  • Since 2006-07, the government has invested $316.2 million for tobacco prevention, cessation, and protection.
  • Introduced in the Ontario Legislature on November 18, 2013, the Youth Smoking Protection Act has received First Reading.

LEARN MORE

  • Youth Smoking Protection Act
  • QuitTheDenial.ca
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