Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Smoking special issue

24 November 2021

ICLS' Thierry Gagné has edited a journal special issue for the Public Health Agency of Canada looking at smoking prevention and control


Despite steady declines in the past 30 years, with a record low prevalence of 15% in 2019, tobacco smoking continues be a leading public health burden in Canada, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. ICLS' Thierry Gagné has co-edited a two-part special issue in the Public Health Agency of Canada's journal, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice (HPCDP), presenting new evidence on policy gaps and implementation challenges, inequalities in tobacco and vaping use, and associations between the use of vaping products, smoking cessation and harm reduction behaviours among smokers in the Canadian context.

The special issue received submissions from tobacco and vaping control advocates and researchers across Canada, resulting in 10 articles published across two issues dedicated to smoking and vaping. Papers in the first issue that came out in October 2021 include a look at differences in smoking prevalence and cigarette affordability across provincial jurisdictions, predictors of e-cigarette take-up among high school students, and reflections on policy shortcomings over the past five years and future challenges in keeping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The second issue further dedicated to vaping will come in January 2022.

Thierry said: "New and unforeseen tobacco-related issues continue to emerge that threaten declines in smoking and tobacco use and challenge our understanding of it. Rapid uptake of vaping among young people, unanticipated effects of new legislation such as cannabis legalisation on tobacco smoking, evolving evidence on the distribution of vaping and its relationship with smoking initiation and cessation, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on tobacco use are, among others, critical issues that will drive tobacco control research and policy agendas into the future."

He added: "The evidence presented here calls for renewed attention to the longstanding public health problem of tobacco use. We hope it will inspire reflection in Canada on past successes in tobacco control, in recognition that the battle is far from over as new and even more challenging issues emerge, and in acceptance that renewed commitment is needed to maintain and build Canadian capacity in tobacco control research. We particularly hope that renewed attention to tobacco control research will help practitioners and policy makers anticipate and better prepare for the inevitable new challenges that will continue to emerge until a tobacco endgame is fully realized."