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Fewer huffing, puffing

Smoking is no longer a drag for the 57,000 Albertans who have decided to butt out since 2007, leading provincial smoking rates to an all-time low, according to national Health Canada data released yesterday.

Smoking is no longer a drag for the 57,000 Albertans who have decided to butt out since 2007, leading provincial smoking rates to an all-time low, according to national Health Canada data released yesterday.

The Alberta smoking rate dropped to 18 per cent among those aged 15 and over, according to the data, and is now on par with the national average.

“We must continue to support programs and policy measures that have been proven effective to help drive down smoking rates further,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services.

“We are particularly focused on measures to help smokers quit and to help youth remain tobacco-free.”

Health groups are applauding the numbers, but warn the efforts to curb smoking shouldn’t stop.

“We can’t rest on our achievements or we could lose the momentum that took decades to achieve,” said Tony Hudson, president of the Lung Association of Alberta/NWT.

Smoking rates across the country declined, according to the data, but in Alberta the rate among young adults between 15 and 24 remained at 18 per cent.

Metro calgary with files from the canadian press

 
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