Position statement - Smoking, a public health scourge for dedicated health professionals
This statement was adopted by the Collège des médecins du Québec, the Ordre des dentistes du Québec, the Ordre des hygiénistes dentaires du Québec, the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec, the Ordre des optométristes du Québec, the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, the Ordre professionnel des inhalothérapeutes du Québec, and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.
The effects of smoking on health are undeniable. For many years, tobacco use has been one of Québec’s most serious health concerns. Tobacco use causes many illnesses in smokers and non smokers and produces a heavy burden on the health care system and considerable social costs. Tobacco use is the leading risk factor for the most deadly chronic illnesses, namely cardiovascular disease and cancer. More than 10,000 Quebecers die every year from tobacco use.
Subjected to the strong addiction induced by tobacco products, smokers often want to quit smoking, and most of them have tried quitting before. Health professionals are key members of our health care system and play a crucial role in successful smoking cessation. Smoking cessation counselling has been proven to be effective, and the unique relationship between health professionals and their patients/clients who use tobacco provides innumerable opportunities to improve the health of Quebecers and protect them from the harmful effects of smoking.