From January 18 to 24, it's National Non-Smoking Week!

The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control is proud to announce the national theme for National Non-Smoking Week 2009 to support your great work:

What have you got to lose?

National Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) has been observed for more than thirty years. From its inception in 1977, NNSW activities have been coordinated by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control.

National Non-Smoking Week is one of the longest running and most important events in Canada’s ongoing public education efforts.

Its goals are:
  • to educate Canadians about the dangers of smoking;
  • to prevent people who do not smoke from beginning to smoke and becoming addicted to tobacco;
  • to help people quit smoking;
  • to promote the right of individuals to breathe air unpolluted by tobacco smoke;
  • to denormalize the tobacco industry, tobacco industry marketing practices, tobacco products, and tobacco use; and
  • to assist in the attainment of a smoke-free society in Canada.
Why Such Concern About Tobacco Use?

Tobacco use is the most significant cause of preventable disease, disability, and premature death in Canada, responsible for more than 37,000 deaths every year. Tobacco kills three times more Canadians each year than alcohol, AIDS, illegal drugs, car accidents, suicide, and murder -- all combined!

Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke also poses serious risks to health. Adults who live with a smoker have a 30% greater chance of getting lung cancer and a 20-30% increased risk of dying of heart disease.

Children regularly exposed to tobacco smoke have a higher risk of developing various health problems, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, and asthma.

For more information on the health effects of smoking, see the Factsheets on Health Canada's Website with links to many other informative sites.

A National Effort

The activities that take place during National Non-Smoking Week are as varied as the individuals and agencies that participate in the program.

National Non-Smoking Week is truly a Canada-wide endeavour, involving agencies and individuals working at the federal, provincial/territorial, regional and local levels. Thousands of people from coast-to-coast -- both volunteers and staff -- participate in the campaign, including local health units, local and provincial/territorial councils on smoking and health, health charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Lung Association, and provincial, territorial and federal Ministries of Health.

Weedless Wednesday

Weedless Wednesday has been a focal point of National Non-Smoking Week almost from the start, focusing media and public attention on the benefits of cessation and the community resources available to help smokers quit.

The idea behind Weedless Wednesday is to promote a "one day at a time" approach to quitting smoking, a concept appealing to many smokers who may be discouraged at the thought of an entire week -- or lifetime -- without cigarettes, but who may be able to cope with one smoke-free day.

Weedless Wednesday for the year 2009 is January 21.

For more information, go to the National Non-Smoking Week Website