January Updates from the APCCP
2012 is off to a great start here at the APCCP! Over the last month, we have been busy working on our strategic priorities and are anticipating a productive spring ahead.
In this issue, we will continue with our Member Organization Spotlight. This month we are highlighting Action on Smoking and Health, a prominent tobacco control organization in Alberta.
We'll also provide an update on the progress of our strategic priority, the creation of a provincial Wellness Foundation, and other advocacy activities that we have been working on this month.
Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) is a founding member of the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention and the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta.
ASH was founded in 1979—in the early days of the tobacco control movement in Canada when smoking indoors was commonplace and tobacco advertising was omnipresent.
Over the years, ASH became Western Canada’s leading tobacco control organization and contributed to the development of local, provincial and national policy measures to reduce and prevent tobacco use.
According to Executive Director, Les Hagen, ASH has played a key role in the transformation of Canada’s Marlboro Country over the past three decades.
“Alberta’s cowboy culture fits perfectly with the image of the Marlboro Man” said Hagen. “Alberta’s reputation of independence, risk taking, hard living, less government and low taxes was a marketing God-send to Canadian tobacco companies and they exploited this opportunity for many years. Philip Morris even filmed Marlboro television commercials in the Alberta Rockies”.
Fewer than one in five Albertans are now smoking compared with one in three in the 1980s. Alberta’s smoking bans and marketing restrictions are now ranked among the strongest in Canada.
Despite the progress that has been made in reducing tobacco use, ASH contends that the war on tobacco is far from over.
For more information, visit the ASH Website
Update on 2011-2012 Strategic Priorities:
The Creation of a Wellness Foundation: It’s About Health. It’s About Time.
In anticipation of a spring election, the APCCP has been meeting with champions from all political parties as a key strategy in moving toward our goal of creating a well-financed and sustainable Wellness Foundation dedicated to preventing disease and promoting health.
We are also developing a survey of political party leaders and election candidates to assess support and commitment to the creation of a Wellness Foundation.
Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to get involved as the election approaches!
Call to Action: Help keep Alberta youth tobacco-free for life
Alberta is not meeting its youth smoking target. In 2010, the smoking rate among Albertans aged 12-19 was 14%, while the provincial target was 10%. It appears that youth smoking may be trending upwards.
To address this issue, the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta (CSFA)
, of which the APCCP is a member, recently launched a new initiative to mobilize Albertans in support of stronger measures to reduce youth smoking in Alberta.
As part of this initiative, CSFA has created a new interactive website and social media campaign to help connect Albertans directly with their elected representatives and their election candidates.
For more information or to get involved in this exciting initiative, please visit www.smokefreealberta.ca
In recent weeks, the topic of alcohol policy has garnered considerable attention from media outlets across Alberta. Premier Alison Redford and her government support new impaired driving legislation and have discussed the possibility of a tax increase on alcoholic beverages to reduce alcohol consumption.
Some have argued against such policies (See Rob Breakenridge's opinion piece, "Premier Redford is looking prohibitionist," in the Calgary Herald). The APCCP, however, views these actions as part of an evidence-based approach to reducing alcohol-related harm in the province. For more information, view our position statement, as well as Dr. Kim Raine's response to Breakenridge's article above.
The APCCP represents a broad range of practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and community organizations who have come together to coordinate efforts, generate evidence, and advocate for policy change in order to reduce chronic diseases in Alberta. To see who our members are click here.