Tobacco reduction – community strategies

Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. In 2015, approximately 2780 new cancers diagnosed in Alberta were linked to tobacco smoking1.

The good news is that communities can help people quit commercial tobacco use, never start smoking in the first place, and protect people from secondhand smoke.

The strategies listed below offer some ideas to guide activities to reduce commercial tobacco use in your community.  To make the greatest impact, it is best to implement more than one strategy.  Activities that work to change the social, physical, and economic aspects of a community, as well as local policies will have the best results.  It is important to start where you are at. This may mean starting with one area of change and then building on it in other areas over time.

Ways to take action

All of the strategies below are based on current research, have been tested and shown to work. See the methods section for more information on how these strategies were developed.

Free or low cost cessation resources support people to quit using tobacco

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Awareness and education campaigns can reduce the appeal of tobacco use, support people to quit smoking, or not start in the first place. 

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Implement strategies in the physical, economic and policy environments to restrict access to and use of tobacco-related products.

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School based tobacco de-normalization efforts help make tobacco use less acceptable.

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Awareness and education campaigns can inform and support youth to become tobacco free.

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Smoke-free community environments can positively influence peoples’ health. 

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Tobacco Reduction: Incentivized behaviour change for youth

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  1. Poirier AE, Ruan Y, Grevers X, Walter SD, Villeneuve PJ, Friedenreich CM, Brenner DR. Estimates of the current and future burden of cancer attributable to active and passive tobacco smoking in Canada. Preventive Medicine. 2019;122:9-19.
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