"Ten year old Miranda Googles the word 'tobacco'. When the page opens on her tablet, she sees that there are a lot of references there. Old images show people with small, round, tubular objects between their lips called cigarettes. The pictures also show smoke coming from these objects. She wonders how people lived with tobacco in the past."
Imagine if this scenario could be true. If our future generations learn about tobacco* only from history books and archives on Google!
The number of lives saved from tobacco-related deaths would be upwards of 7 million a year worldwide. Chronic diseases related to tobacco use would be non-existent. Imagine!
Join us this World No Tobacco Day in helping to make commercial tobacco use a thing of the past.
Here's what you can do:
- Tell one person you know who uses commercial tobacco that quitting is the best thing they can do for their health.
- Support them to reach out to QuitNow.ca and the BC Lung Association for education and support on quitting tobacco use. The person can also go to any pharmacy and enroll for 12 weeks free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
- Tell one person you don't know that smoking in outdoor spaces closer than 6 metres to doors and windows is affecting the health of others. That within minutes of a few people smoking outdoors, the second-hand smoke concentration equals that of indoors.
- Provide education and support about outdoor smoke- and vape-free spaces.
- Check to see if your community has a bylaw that supports smoke- and vape-free outdoor spaces.
Currently, commercial tobacco use rates are about 20% in the north. We have a lot of work to do to help make commercial tobacco use history!
Let's all work together to make Miranda's experience a reality.
* In this story, as in most public health messages, “tobacco use” refers to the use of commercial tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco as opposed to traditional uses of tobacco. Northern Health supports the cultural and ceremonial uses of tobacco and recognizes that the benefits of traditional uses can outweigh the potential harms.