|National Non-Smoking Week Jan. 15-21|
|Local Content - Community blogs|
|Written by Cheri Langhofer, community engagement co-ordinator Canadian Cancer Society-Lethbridge|
|Monday, 16 January 2012 14:58|
Smoking rates among Alberta teenagers and young adults shot up by a relative 40 per cent last year.
To mark this yearâ€™s National Non-Smoking Week, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking that Albertans call on their MLAs to pass stronger legislation that will reduce smoking rates and save lives.
Lung cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Itâ€™s also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, and is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. Last year, more than 20,000 Canadians died of lung cancer.
By taking action, our provincial government can radically reduce smoking rates and tobacco-related cancer risk by increasing tobacco taxes, prohibiting the sale of flavoured tobacco products, and making it illegal to smoke in vehicles carrying minors.
We know that tobacco companies target young smokers with flavoured products. Fruit and candy flavours make it easier for new smokers to become addicted because the harsh tobacco flavour is masked. We also know that Alberta has some of the most affordable cigarettes in Canada for youth aged 15 to 24. Alarmingly approximately 80 per cent of new smokers are under the age of 18.
Youth-friendly marketing combined with easy access and affordability adds up to higher smoking rates among teenagers and young adults. This is a deadly formula for another generation of tobacco addicts.
We want Albertans to ask their MLAs to push for strong legislation that will protect our young people from the dangers of smoking and tobacco use. Albertaâ€™s youth deserve it. For more information visit cancer.ca.