Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) has been a leader in Canada’s tobacco control movement for the past four decades. From securing local smoking bylaws to achieving global precedents on flavoured tobacco, ASH has played an active role in the creation of a predominantly smoke-free society in Canada.
Despite the tremendous gains that have been made in tobacco control, executive director Les Hagen remembers fighting some tough battles to ban smoking in restaurants and bars and to restrict the sale and marketing of tobacco to youth.
“We’ve come a long way on tobacco with less than one in six Canadians who are now regular smokers versus one in three in the 1980s” said Les Hagen, executive director. “Our success with policy measures such as smoking bans, marketing restrictions and tax increases have created a non-smoking culture. This cultural shift took decades of heavy lifting with strong resistance from a very well-resourced tobacco lobby. Hopefully this progress will inspire others to create social change to further improve the quality of life in Alberta and Canada. A strong vision, persistence and perseverance can go a long way toward achieving the end result even if you are up against Big Tobacco.”
ASH believes that one of its most important achievements has been helping to transform Canada’s Marlboro Country. Traditionally, Alberta has had one of the highest smoking rates in Canada and the tobacco industry had a strong marketing presence at major events like the Calgary Stampede, Spruce Meadows, and several music festivals. Alberta’s smoking rates are now roughly on par with the national average and we have some of the strongest tobacco legislation in Canada. The Marlboro Man is no longer welcome in Alberta thanks in large part to ASH and its partner organizations like APCCP.
The APCCP is pleased to welcome Manuel Escoto to the coalition as a practicum student. Read on to learn more about the newest member of our team.
Since 2011, Manuel has been focused on developing his policy, research and advocacy background. He has volunteered with local organizations such as Public Interest Alberta, Friends of Medicare and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Professionally, Manuel has grown his policy, research, communications and advocacy skills during his time with the Edmonton Social Planning Council, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Currently, Manuel is completing his Masters in Public Health (Health Policy & Management) part-time at the University of Alberta and he joins the APCCP as a practicum student until September 2018.
In this role, Manuel is leading APCCP’s scan on policy to address household food insecurity in Alberta. This scan investigates both federal and provincial income-based policies that impact household food insecurity in Alberta and will identify strengths and gaps in current policies. This work will provide the foundation for APCCP to raise awareness around the need to address food insecurity in Alberta and to identify and promote evidence-based policies.
Check out the following publications from APCCP team members:
ABOUT US: The APCCP is composed of 17 member organizations representing a broad range of practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and community organizations who work to coordinate efforts, generate evidence, and advocate for policy change to reduce chronic diseases in Alberta. To see who our members are click here.