Over the past decade, Albertans have made impressive progress in quitting tobacco. Today fewer than 20 per cent of all Albertans use tobacco daily, compared with 51 per cent in the 1960s. And fewerpeople are using chew, snuff and other types of tobacco thanever before.
It’s something to celebrate and puts Alberta much closerto becoming a tobacco-free province. Being tobacco freehas tremendous benefits: the main being healthier livesand communities for us, our children and grandchildren.
In this special section, we look at what it means to be tobaccofree and how we can continue to work toward that goal. Yetfor all the gains that have been made in reducing tobacco use,tobacco-related illnesses still kill about 3,000 people every yearin our province. And despite their best efforts, tobacco usersstruggle every day to conquer their tobacco addiction.
Tobacco dependency is not simply a matter of good orbad choices, or good or bad people. It is highly addictive andpackaged and marketed to be appealing. On the following pages,we bring you stories of people who’ve triumphed over theirdependence on tobacco—including world-class skeleton athleteAmy Gough—and offer real strategies and solutions to help kickthe habit for good. You’ll also find stories on how to talk withyour kids about tobacco and the benefits of being tobacco free.
Over the next decade, Alberta Health Services and otherprovincial and national organizations will continue to worktogether to further reduce the rate of tobacco use. Our goalis to help you better understand tobacco, and what avoiding,reducing or quitting can mean to the health of Albertans.
— Dr. Brent Friesen
Something to celebrate
Brent Friesen is the medical officer of health for Safe & Healthy
Environments, Population & Public Health, Alberta Health Services
Dr. Brent Friesen
Alberta Health Services
Andrea Allen, Susan Canning, Sandra Delon,Andrew Douglas, Nancy Fraser, Dr. Neil Hagen,Dr. Brent Friesen, Dr. Gerry Predy, CathyPryce, Dr. James Talbot, Dr. Michael Trew
ADMINIS TRATIVE SUPPOR T
Anita Lal, Clare Pasterfield
CONTENT & CREATIVE TEAM
Terry Bullick, Anne Georg, Cheryl Mahaffy,Julie McLaughlin, Amy Sawchenko,Laina Wong, Julie Wons
COMMUNICATIONS SUPPOR TShannon Evans, Heather Kipling