Smoking rates in Nova Scotia continue to decline. The annual Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, released today, Thursday, Aug. 11, shows that the 2004 smoking rate in Nova Scotia was at 20 per cent in 2004, a decline from 30 per cent in 2000 and from 22 per cent in 2003. The numbers represent about 78,000 fewer Nova Scotians smoking in 2004 than 2000. “This is good news,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “In 2006, with the introduction of the 100 per cent ban on smoking in public and work places, we expect smoking rates will go down even further.” Nova Scotia Health Promotion officials say the steady decline in smoking rates can be attributed to the comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy. The plan uses a multi-pronged approach to address smoking rates in the province, and its success is due in large part to the participation of many stakeholders. The strategy will continue its work on community-based programming, cessation programs, youth prevention, and social marketing. Although the 2004 report shows that smoking rates in Nova Scotia have declined by two percentage points since 2003, the number is not considered statistically significant. The survey also shows that the number of cigarettes Nova Scotians smoke each day is steadily declining — from an average of 17.7 a day in 2000 to 14.9 a day in 2004. The average number smoked in 2003 was 15.1. For more information on the tobacco control strategy, see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/tcu/default.htm .
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