World No Tobacco Day. May 31, 2020

This years theme is all about youth and the Tobacco Industry. According to the WHO “…The global campaign will debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by these industries. It will provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them. This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of coronavirus. WHO calls on all young people to join the fight to become a tobacco-free generation.” Read more here.

Covid-19 and smoking/vaping

The World Health Organization has issued a statement about smoking and the risks of Covid-19. More information can be found at the WHO website. ACT reminds everyone who is smoking or vaping to NOT SHARE their devices, and for everyone in our Province to maintain social distancing, wash your hands and practice proper sneeze and cough etiquette. Together we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from Covid-19.

The New Look of Nicotine Addiction

The number of youth vaping in Newfoundland and Labrador has rapidly increased. Recent data from the 2018-19 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Survey (CSTADS), clearly indicates that vaping among youth in this province is reaching a crisis level. A total of 47% of the province’s students in grades 7-12 have tried vaping, with almost 30% of those students using vapes in the last 30 days. This is much higher than the Canadian rate, and in fact, the rates in this province are among the highest in the country.

With this in mind, ACT has developed and launched a new advertising campaign about the harms and risks associated with vaping: The New Look of Nicotine Addiction.

The goal of the campaign, which is aimed at parents, trusted adults and other youth influencers, is to educate them about the harms and risks of vaping among youth and to encourage conversation with teens about vaping. Further, this campaign will provide information about vaping products, including the fact that they contain harmful chemicals (less harm does not mean harmless); that the devices come in a variety of different sizes, types, colours and flavours that are not always recognizable and that e-cigarettes contain nicotine which can alter teen brain development and youth being targeted by the vaping industry. Commencing on February 12, 2020, the campaign will be visible on social media, and in the coming days in online and billboard advertising. Visit www.truthaboutvaping.ca for more information.

Youth and Vaping Webinar – Fall 2019

During October and November, 2019, ACT developed and presented a youth and vaping webinar for health, education, mental health and addictions and community professionals. This webinar was presented three separate times and was attended by over 500 professionals from across the Province! Special thanks to Tanya Barnes-Matthews, Regional Health Educator at Western Health for taking the lead on these events. While the webinar was not recorded the slide deck with speaking notes can be found here

Vaping and Pulmonary Illness

Recently, there has been an emergence of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping in the United States and in Canada. To date, investigations into this issue suggests that products containing THC play a role in this outbreak. The suspected cause is a chemical exposure, but the specific chemicals remain unknown at this time.

As of October 2019 information on this issue has been released by Health Canada and The CDC, and the Canadian Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health.

Tobacco Use in Canada – Patterns and Trends 2019

The Tobacco Use in Canada Report for 2019 has recently been released. This report is part of a series of reports on tobacco use in Canada. It was developed by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. The report uses data from national surveys conducted by Health Canada and Statistics Canada to summarize the main patterns and trends in tobacco use in Canada, primarily since 1999, with a focus on the most current data available.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy and the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program

Effective December 4, 2018, the Provincial Smoking Cessation Program will have more nicotine replacement therapy products covered under the program, specifically gum,lozenge and inhaler.  This builds on the existing coverage of the patch and prescription medications Champix and Zyban.  

The Provincial Smoking Cessation Program assists eligible individuals under the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP) Access, Foundation and 65 Plus Plans by contributing to the cost of quit smoking aids (prescription medications or nicotine replacement therapy). This program complements advice and assistance from health care providers and the work of the Newfoundland and Labrador Lung Association Smokers’ Helpline in helping individuals quit smoking.  These efforts support the Department of Health and Community Services Chronic Disease Action Plan and the provincial governments’ Way Forward target to reduce smoking rates by 4% by 2025. For more information see