Advocates for a smoke-free British Columbia
December 12, 2018

Trevor Hancock: Don’t overlook tobacco-addiction epidemic

While the opioid-overdose epidemic is a major focus of concern, it is worth recalling that it is not the most important cause of addiction-related deaths in Canada or even in B.C., the epicentre of the opioid epidemic.

There were almost 4,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2017, but tobacco, which is also addictive, kills 11 times as many Canadians every year as opioids — yes, 11 times as many.

The latest data from Statstics Canada show that in 2017, more than 16 per cent of Canadians 12 and over — 5 million people — smoked. Smoking is more common in low-income populations; more than one in five low-income Canadians smoked, compared with less than one in 10 high-income people. Clearly, we are still a long way from eliminating this scourge. Read more...

Media Contacts
  • Jack Boomer
    Director, Clean Air Coalition of BC
    T 250 721 4268
    C 250 589 4268
    jackboomer@shaw.ca

    Katrina van Bylandt
    Director, Health Communications
    BC Lung Association
    T 604 731 5864
    vanbylandt@bc.lung.ca

    Jennifer Randall Nelson
    Manager, Communications
    T 778 372 8024
    jennifer.randallnelson
    @heartandstroke.ca