Canada Funds Tobacco Cessation Programs

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The Honourable Rona Ambrose, federal Minister of Labour, today announced funding for a project administered through The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT that is designed to reduce tobacco use among employees who work in industries with higher than average smoking rates. Today's announcement is being made on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be working with The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT and its partners to help curb cigarette smoking among employees in industry sectors that have been traditionally hard to reach," said Minister Ambrose. "I look forward to seeing the progress that is made on this front in the months and years ahead."

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Funding from today's announcement will go towards the Smart Steps...towards a smoke-free life project. Although the Smart Steps program is designed for all employees in workplaces across Alberta, the project will focus on helping employees who work in industries with higher than average smoking rates quit smoking. The project hopes to reach young adults who work in retail, construction, transportation as well as the oil and gas sector with on-site tobacco cessation programming and personalized action plans to help them quit. Funding for this project will help deliver smoking cessation workshops in 25 additional workplaces located in seven cities across Alberta.

"We are thrilled about the funding support from Health Canada. It shows the government's commitment to tobacco reduction and the health of all Canadians," said Tony Hudson, The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT's President & CEO, "Today's investment by the federal government will ensure that our organization can provide workplaces across the province with an effective cessation program that will empower Albertans to quit smoking. This is an exciting moment for The Lung Association, and Albertans who want to breathe easier."

Smoking remains the most preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada. More than 37,000 people die prematurely each year in Canada due to tobacco use and more than 830 non-smokers died in Canada from second-hand smoke. Given these statistics, Health Canada is pleased to have contributed $184,071 to the Smart Steps...towards a smoke-free life project.

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