Tobacco Control and Nicotine Addiction in Canada: Current trends, Management and Challenges
Despite a significant decrease in tobacco use over the past four decades, cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Canada. Nicotine addiction, unequal access to available support programs and gaps in continuity of health care are recognized as the main barriers to smoking cessation. To overcome these obstacles and to reach the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy goal of reducing smoking prevalence in Canada from 19% to 12% by 2011, several Canadian health care organizations developed extensive sets of recommendations. Improved access to affordable pharmacotherapies and behavioural counselling, better training of health care professionals and the addition of systemic cessation measures appear to be the key components in all of the proposed recommendations.The present article provides an overview of the current approaches to smoking cessation in Canada, describes the remaining challenges, and outlines recent recommendations that are geared toward not only tobacco control but also overall improvement in long-term health outcomes.