../Morning Post
Posted November 2, 2009
Health Resource

New report on tobacco use provides resource for policy leaders and advocates

WATERLOO - A collection of patterns and trends on tobacco use in Canada compiled by the new Propel Centre for Population Health Impact will help policy leaders and advocates focus their efforts on improving the health of Canadians through tobacco control.

The new report, Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends, 2009 Edition, will be released at the sixth National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Montreal on Monday. The report provides a collection of data related to tobacco use in youth and adults for use by policy leaders, advocates and researchers to determine strategies to reduce smoking across Canada.

The report says that in 2008, there were significant differences in smoking prevalence by level of education. Those with a secondary school education or less had double the smoking prevalence of university graduates. Educational differences were particularly large for daily smoking, at less than six per cent for university graduates, and 13 to 17 per cent in other groups.

It adds that two-thirds of smokers over age 15 were seriously considering quitting in the next six months. More than one-third were considering quitting in the next month. Half of adult smokers tried to quit in the past year. Many tried more than once.

"Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death, and in Canada alone, there are almost five million smokers. If they continue to smoke, between one-third and one-half of these smokers will die from their use of tobacco," said Paul Lapierre, vice-president, public affairs and cancer control, Canadian Cancer Society.

The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, which launched today as a new entity, brings 30 years of experience in impact-oriented science, and a new partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and the University of Waterloo. Propel connects leaders in research, policy, and practice from across Canada and beyond to join forces in the fight against cancer and chronic disease.

Based at the University of Waterloo, more than 40 scientists and staff work together to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases, including diabetes, stroke, and heart and lung diseases, as well as improve the quality of life for those touched by cancer. Propel's initial focus is in the area of tobacco control, youth health, active living and healthy eating, and quality of life for those affected by cancer.

"This report is an example of how Propel helps bring leaders in research, policy, and practice from across Canada to join forces and help transform the health of populations in Canada and around the world," said Roy Cameron, Propel's executive director.

The new Centre builds upon the Canadian Cancer Society founded Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation (CBRPE) by bringing together staff from CBRPE and the Population Health Research Group (PHR) under Propel.

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