Do telephone interviews undercount smokers?

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Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released the most recent results from its long-standing and impressive Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The results were very encouraging for those who work to reduce tobacco use — smoking rates had declined to 13% –  the lowest rate in our lifetime. Earlier in the year, another Statistics Canada survey (the Canadian...

Ian Irvine, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and the CD Howe Institute

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Over the past months Canadians have heard the views on vaping regulations of Concordia University economist Ian Irvine. Recently the Globe and Mail’s business editor gave space to his opinion that taxes on vaping products should not be so high as to discourage people from using them and that governments should do more to encourage smokers who...

A new year begins… and so do some tobacco-related measures

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The new year is a common date for governments to peg for implementing regulations or new rules. This year is no exception, with new tobacco control provisions kicking in this week. Other regular New Year’s changes will be price increases set by tobacco companies. This post reviews these events — with related and updated fact...

Active and passive smoking increase the risk of breast cancer: Women need to be warned

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In 2009, a Canadian expert panel concluded that the relationship between breast cancer and active and passive smoking was “consistent with causality.”  Since then the evidence that smoking and passive smoking cause breast cancer has grown stronger. Breast cancer death and disease from tobacco smoke In Europe in 2017 3,354 breast cancer deaths could have been avoided...

The economic benefits of getting to 5% prevalence

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The federal government has set the goal of reducing smoking rates in Canada to less than 5% by 2035. But are we on track to getting there? And are there economic benefits to governments and citizens if we do? This summer, the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada commissioned Dr....

Smoking rates have fallen — but maybe not for the reason you think.

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Last week Statistics Canada made available the Public Use Microdata from the Canadian Community Health Survey conducted in 2017 and 2018.  The gift of a 1000 variables! The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is the doyen of Statistics Canada’s health surveillance system. For 2 decades, government pollsters have used this survey to find explore the health and...

The PATH that leads to understanding the vaping epidemic

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Finding the PATH Since 2013, there has been a remarkable survey operating in the United States that has deepened our understanding of tobacco and e-cigarettes use and consequences. It is the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Survey (PATH) – a longitudinal, nationally representative survey of 46000 Americans. This survey generates information on tobacco and e-cigarette use...

What research tells us about young people and e-cigarette flavours

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Many researchers are focusing on the role played by e-cigarette flavourings in encouraging young non-smokers to use these products. Earlier this year, the Nordic Welfare Council produced a report intended to inform public health efforts by governments in the Nordic Region (Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Faroe Islands, Finland, Aland, and Greenland). Their report – The significance...

Job not done! Half a million Canadian workers are still exposed to second hand smoke on the job.

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This week an updated report on the Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada was circulated. The research was prepared by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre with financial support from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The results on occupational exposure to second hand smoke might surprise those who think that workers are...

Do e-cigarettes beat NRT as cessation aids? A key study provides two opposing results – yet only one was reported.

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There are thousands of scientific studies on tobacco use published every month (37,000 so far this year!), but only a few find their way into the mainstream media. Among those, even fewer seem to have real influence on government policies. In my circles, one of the most influential papers this year was a British study...

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