EDMONTON — World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is May 31 — and Alberta Health Services (AHS) is raising awareness about the health risks associated with smoking and reminding Albertans of tobacco cessation resources available to them.
Every year, more than 4,000 Albertans die because of tobacco use, while tens of thousands more Albertans have serious tobacco-related illnesses that significantly affect their quality of life.
Quitting smoking will not only help improve one’s health but can help improve the health of our community environments as well.
AHS offers a variety of free programs and services to help Albertans quit tobacco, including telephone counselling, online self-help information, and group cessation programs:
- AlbertaQuits Helpline,1-866-710-QUIT (7848), which provides one-to-one telephone counselling.
- The website albertaquits.ca, which provides information and tools for preparing people to quit.
- QuitCore, a group support program that provides individuals with the strategies and skills they need to quit smoking, while connecting them with others who are also trying to quit. This program is offered in person, as well as virtually through Zoom.
Information and resources are available at health clinics, pharmacies and dental offices in many communities and AHS locations, including cessation services created for patients who use tobacco or tobacco-like products.
Tobacco and tobacco-like products also affect the environment which, in turn, affects the health of our communities. Deforestation, land degradation, energy and water consumption, emissions and post-consumer waste are just a few of the tobacco-related environmental harms highlighted by the World Health Organization, which established WNTD. Canada produced 14,759 tons of tobacco-related waste in 2018: 9,421 tons due to packaging and 5,338 due to cigarette butts.
WNTD has been an annual observance on May 31 for more than 20 years. It aims to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and help advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.