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Strategy Evaluation

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2016 Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy Monitoring Report Released

Key Findings:
  • Past 30-day use of various tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff or chewing tobacco, but not including waterpipe and electronic cigarettes) reported by Ontarians aged 12 years or older was 20% – statistically lower than the 2010 rate of 22%
  • Past-30 day cigarette use remains high among young adult males aged 20 to 24 (23%) and 25 to 29 (29%)
  • Strategy smoking cessation interventions, including physician billing to OHIP for cessation counseling, directly engaged over 324,225 smokers (or about 17% of all smokers)

These are some of the findings highlighted in this year’s Strategy Monitoring Report. This report presents evaluative information about the activities and results of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and describes Strategy infrastructure and interventions, analyzes population-level changes, and explores the contributions of interventions.

Visit the 2016 Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy Monitoring Report page to download the full report, executive summary, separate chapters or the infographic posters. You can also watch and listen again to our recent webinar: Tobacco Control in Ontario: How Well are We Doing and Where Can We Improve?.

E-Cigarettes: To Vape or Not To Vape?

Should non-smokers vape? Is vaping less harmful than smoking? Can smokers quit by using e-cigarettes?

More information about OTRU’s research on e-cigarettes can be found on our e-cigarette research page. You many also be interested in our review in N&TR. Malas M, van der Tempel J, Schwartz R, Minichiello A, Lightfoot C, Noormohamed A, et al. (2016). Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A systematic review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(10), 1926-1936.

Animation thanks to Dan DePeuter, Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

Public Health Unit Tobacco Use Cessation Services

OTRU Update

This OTRU Update provides a summary of the tobacco use cessation services provided at the local-level by all 36 Public Health Units across Ontario for the 2016 calendar year. Read more…

Knowledge and Evaluation Support Update

Since 2013, OTRU has provided local program planning and evaluation services for Smoke-Free Ontario partners though the Knowledge and Evaluation Support initiative. The services provided, challenges and outcomes are summarized. This centralized service enhances capacity, creates efficiencies and enables public health interventions to be informed by research and evaluation evidence. Read more…

Updated Protection Module

We are pleased to release the newly updated Protection Module in OTRU’s online course, Tobacco and Public Health: From Theory to Practice. If you’ve already started the Protection module, you might find it helpful to go back to the beginning and scroll through the changes. We’ve reorganized the module to be more intuitive, and relevant to current protection-related issues, and added more recent images and videos.

We look forward to your feedback about the module changes!

Nicotine: How Does it Affect Health?

OTRU Update

Of the more than 7000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, nicotine is one of the most widely assessed. Nicotine has been identified as the primary substance in tobacco that causes addiction and, as such, the main substance driving use of tobacco products. For many years, most of the harm associated with tobacco has been attributed to other substances in tobacco, and particularly tobacco smoke. Nevertheless, recent research suggests that there are significant and substantial health effects associated directly with nicotine. The rise of commercial products that deliver nicotine without tobacco smoke make it important to assess the potential risks of nicotine in both traditional and alternative tobacco products. Read the Update.

Listen Again: Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: What’s the Evidence?

Original presentation date: February 27, 2017

Health Evidence hosted a 90 minute webinar examining the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Muhannad Malas and Robert Schwartz led the session and presented findings from their recent review: Malas M, van der Tempel J, Schwartz R, Minichiello A, Lightfoot C, Noormohamed A, et al. (2016). Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A systematic review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(10), 1926-1936. This review examines the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as cessation aids. Sixty two articles, including RCTs, experimental, longitudinal and cross sectional studies are included in this review. Findings suggest there is inconclusive evidence due to low quality of research. For links to the audio and video, and the slide deck, visit our Webinar Archives page.

Core Activities

Our research activities produce evidence-based knowledge that contributes to the development of effective and efficient program and policy initiatives for tobacco control in Ontario and elsewhere.
Knowledge Exchange
Our integrated program of knowledge translation and exchange includes ongoing communications with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other tobacco control stakeholders, and development and dissemination of a variety of knowledge translation and exchange resources.

Evaluation and Monitoring
Our work in evaluation examines the progress of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and assesses the contributions of individual interventions to overall tobacco strategy goals.
Capacity Building
We provide a variety of training opportunities because we recognize that involving students and graduates early in their careers is an essential strategy in developing the next generation of researchers and practitioners in tobacco control.