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The Tobacco Story in Canada : 1900 until today
The NCCHPP presents its Tobacco Timeline, an interactive tool that represents the history of Canadian tobacco policy.
Published in April, 2008.  DescriptionLaunch Timeline (Flash).

Canada is seen to be at the forefront of tobacco control policy. We have lowered the level of smoking from 49.5% (1965)  to 19% (2005) . Public opinion is now firmly against smoking and supportive of regulations and programs to eliminate it.

However, the public health community is still ambivalent about how these victories have come about. Was it laws? Education? Information? The NCCHPP has a particular interest in how public policy is developed.


Click here to launch the Tobacco Timeline

Image - tobacco timeline - click to visit

As such, in order to learn from the tobacco story we turned to the abundant documentation on the issue. In particular, Canadian works such as Rob Cunningham's Smoke & Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War, various Health Canada and provincial government documents, academic publications, the information diffused by community and medical organizations involved in Canadian tobacco history, and media archives have allowed us to assemble many of the events that occurred over the course of the twentieth century, in an interactive timeline.

This timeline allows users to travel along the twentieth century, observing the multiple factors and events that contributed to the rise and fall of Canadian tobacco consumption. It identifies the main players over the last century and describes how they contributed to the development of tobacco control policies. It pinpoints the laws, regulations and other programmes that were enacted. It documents the actions of the anti-smoking lobby and the responses of the tobacco industry, and vice versa.

The purpose of this timeline is:
  • To provide a general description of the development of Canadian tobacco policy
  • To describe how information has contributed to shaping Canadian tobacco policy
  • To portray the multiple factors, events, and actors that have influenced the prevalence of smoking in Canada
Furthermore, we intend this story to be a tool for discussion: What can we learn from this story in promoting and constructing healthy public policy today?

In the aim of stimulating an exchange of ideas, this timeline includes a section called "What have we learned", which includes brief analyses of the best practices that could be applied to other policy-making campaigns. We invite you to post your own commentary and analysis in this section.

You can also send us your comments on the timeline by clicking on "Evaluate this tool".

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The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.