On World No Tobacco Day, Nunavut urges people to go tobacco-free

GN also seeking applications for tobacco-reduction projects


On World No Tobacco Day, May 31, Nunavut's health department would like to see more Nunavummiut going tobacco-free. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

On World No Tobacco Day, May 31, Nunavut’s health department would like to see more Nunavummiut going tobacco-free. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

For World No Tobacco Day, May 31, Nunavut’s Department of Health would like to see Nunavummiut put down the cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

More than two in three Inuit living in Nunavut and aged 15 and older are daily smokers, according to Statistics Canada.

To lower the numbers of smokers in Nunavut, the department’s Tobacco Reduction Program wants organizations, associations and hamlets in Nunavut to submit one-time funding proposals for community-led projects on how to reduce tobacco use in Nunavut’s communities.

For more details, you can contact tobacco@gov.nu.ca for an application. Deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m., June 23.

And if you want to stop smoking, you can get two free weeks of nicotine replacement therapies, such as a nicotine patch, gum or inhaler, which help with nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Or you can also call the Nunavut QuitLine at 1-866-368-7848 or message the “Tobacco Has No Place Here” Facebook page “for free, professional support on your quit journey,” the GN said.

Smoking already costs the average Nunavut smoker more than $6,000 a year, adding up to more than 56 million cigarettes smoked in Nunavut in 2015.

This year the Government of Nunavut approved a new tax which raised the price of cigarettes to encourage people to stop smoking/

Besides improving health and reducing poverty, less tobacco use also means less large-scale environmental degradation, says a World Health Organization report—the international agency behind World No Tobacco Bay—which found tobacco waste is the largest type of litter by count globally.

The WHO report, Tobacco and its Environmental Impact: An Overview, also shows how tobacco waste contains more than 7,000 toxic chemicals and smoke emissions which contribute human carcinogens, toxicants, and greenhouse gases to the environment.

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