The Canadian Smoking and Health Programme
Of Canada’s 20,000,000 population there are 8,000,000 under the age of 20. Each of the ten provinces is responsible for the health of its people; hence the development of a programme in smoking and health must be in collaboration with provincial governments. Except for a short pamphlet on smoking published in 1940, provincial governments had not been inclined to mount an active anti-smoking programme during the period 1940–1950. In 1951, however, the Canadian Cancer Society, a voluntary agency, published a lead article in its quarterly Newsletter drawing attention to the increase in Canada in deaths from lung cancer and to the experimental evidence which incriminated cigarettes. Unfortunately, little action resulted until the period 1958–1960, when the National Cancer Institute, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Heart Foundation, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Thoracic Society, and the Canadian Tuberculosis Association came forward with a statement to the effect that cigarette smoking was an important factor in the causation of lung cancer and was largely responsible for the increase in lung cancer death rates in Canada. The Canadian Cancer Society then appointed a committee to promote a broad programme of public education on the problem of lung cancer and smoking. Studies of the smoking habits of Canadian school children indicated that smoking began at an early age and the greatest increase occurred in the 11–16 year age group. The Canadian Cancer Society programme, therefore, is directed mainly to school ages.
KeywordsSmoking Habit Provincial Government Lung Cancer Death Rate Voluntary Agency Daily Cigarette Consumption
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