From Tobacco Info No. 3 - November 2010
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Per capita tobacco funding
The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit has released its annual report summarizing government per capita tobacco control funding.
Provincial and territorial government spending summaries per capita for the fiscal year 2009-2010 are reported as: $11.16 in Yukon, $7.82 in NWT; $4.12 in Quebec, $3.28 in Ontario; $2.56 in NS, $1.86 in Nunavut; $1.49 in Nfld & Lab; $1.26 in Saskatchewan; $0.88 in BC; $0.69 in Manitoba and not available in PEI and NB.
For Alberta, an explanatory note states “The amount for Alberta is unavailable due to the transition to Alberta Health Services (AHS); in 2008-2009, Alberta’s commitment was $9,100,000.” (This amounted to $2.54 per capita.)
Customers have come back despite higher prices
In our last edition, we took stock of the increase in the number of taxed cigarettes sold in Canada in 2009 and during the first half of 2010. The decrease in the number of smokers and the maintenance of their average daily consumption led specialists Murray Kaiserman of Health Canada and Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society to attribute the increase in sales volume through legal channels, the first since 1996, to a drop in contraband.
To establish a greater degree of certainty, Tobacco Info queried the Statistics Canada data bank on prices. Clearly, the average price of cigarettes not only increased in 2009 and during the first half of 2010, it increased faster than the consumer price index.
The tax hikes in certain provinces by themselves do not explain the price increase. In Quebec, where the total amount of federal and provincial taxes has not budged since December 2003, the increase in the price of cigarettes is due entirely to industry choices.
The Saskatchewan government is following through on its commitment to protect children under age 16 from second-hand smoke in vehicles.
This is one of the provisions that came into effect on October 1 as part of the second round of amendments under The Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2010. It also included prohibiting smoking in enclosed common areas of multi-unit dwellings and prohibiting smoking within three metres of doorways, windows and air intakes of public buildings.
Other provisions that also came into effect were: prohibiting the sale of little cigars in packages of less than 20; a ban on all outdoor signs that advertise tobacco products and increased restrictions on the use of indoor signs promoting tobacco.
The legislation is implemented in three stages. The provision prohibiting tobacco use on school grounds was proclaimed on August 15. The final stage will occur early in 2011 and will include the provision that prohibits the sale of tobacco in pharmacies.
No smoking in school
The College of the North Atlantic has banned smoking on all of its properties in Newfoundland and Labrador. The College’s new smoke-free policy came into effect at the beginning of the school year. The ban includes outdoor field sites, campus grounds and parking lots. The College has 17 campuses across the province.
Other universities and colleges that have 100% smoke-free campuses include: Acadia University (Wolfville, NS); Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS); Holland College (13 locations across PEI); Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Edmonton and St. Albert, AB); University of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, MB) and Yukon College (Whitehorse, YT).
Protecting your children
Creating a Smoke-Free Environment for Your Children is the title of a 24-minute video dedicated to new or prospective parents and anyone sharing a space with young children on a daily or occasional basis. The documentary reviews the harm done by second-hand smoke, explains strategies to protect one’s family and provides testimonies from people who have already dealt with the problem. The DVD is accompanied by a 16-page facilitator guide with tips for people who would like to start a conversation and precipitate change among groups that may include smokers.
Louise Choquette and Anne Meloche from Health Nexus Resource Centre and the Program Training and Consultation Centre, both funded by the government of Ontario, produced this educational kit. An original French version is available.
According to the Canadian Tobacco Usage Monitoring Survey, 4.6 % of children aged 0-11 and 6.7 % of children aged 0-17 were regularly exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at home in 2009.
On February 19, 2010, the Yukon Territory adopted the Tobacco Product Sales Regulation which restricts the number, size and content of permitted price and availability signs at point of sale. The regulations make explicit that a product list and reference catalogue-like publication is permitted for consultation by customers, a practice seen elsewhere in Canada.
About six trillion cigarettes will be made this year, but few people know where they come from. Stanford anthropologist Matthew Kohrman wants to change that. Using web tools including Google maps, he’s plotted the international whereabouts of more than 300 cigarette factories so far. Their names, addresses and some information about the plants now can easily be found thanks to Kohrman’s Cigarette Citadels project (http/tobaccoresearch.stanford.edu).
The largest clusters of pinpoints are in Europe and Asia. But Africa, Australia and the Americas are home to major manufacturing facilities as well. “This map allows us to have a good understanding of how the tobacco industry has grown, where it has set up shop, where it sees its growth potential and where the big players are,” said Kohrman, who is also a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. “The public has a right to know where cigarette factories are because, as the World Health Organization tells us, the cigarette is the single biggest cause of preventable death right now.”