Smoking Rates Shock in Canada

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Fraser Clarke

For years smoking rates in Canada have been falling.

Now however they have started to creep back up, prompting calls for expert assistance.

According to the latest statistics 16% of Canadians over the age of 25 now regularly smoke tobacco, a figure that has grown by 3% compared with the previous 12 months.

Canadian health officials have worked tirelessly to reduce smoking rates, with the introduction of graphic warnings on packaging, comprehensive education programs from a younger age, and even freephone telephone numbers offering support to anyone trying to kick the habit.

Now calls are being made to assess how effective these programs have been, as the country aims to reduce rates nationwide to just 5% by 2035.

Research published recently in the United States has shown that mortality rates caused by smoking have actually risen of the last half century - with the use of tobacco not becoming any safer with time.

In a statement Health Canada defended their current policies, and highlighted that a review wasn’t related to any failures.

It read: “The government of Canada is committed to evaluating our programs to ensure that we are delivering value to Canadians.

“This ‎contract is intended to bring in experts to help us evaluate the value of the previous tobacco strategy, and the benefits it has delivered to Canadians. This is a standard part of regulatory and policy development. The results of this evaluation will inform future strategies and policies.”

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