Anti-smoking campaign begins
Published Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:29PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 12, 2016 9:30PM EST
Quebec is once again trying to convince the 20 per cent of the population that smokes to give up their crippling habit.
The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health launched its awareness campaign on Tuesday, while Quebec's anti-tobacco week starts on Sunday.
The lobbyists have a litany of facts to try and convince smokers to quit.
They can discuss how smokers will live shorter lives, and how the final years can be increasingly painful as a person struggles to breathe while the cells in their lungs break down.
There is also the fact smokers get sick more often, and have less endurance.
- Trying to quit smoking? smokefreeworld.ca can help
Lobbyists can also mention how smoking is the cause of 16 different types of cancer, and that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths are due to smoking.
In Quebec, that amounts to 6,200 people dying each year from smoking-related cancer.
This year's slogan for the anti-tobacco week is "Smoking, suffering, dying" and will include TV ads and images of a smoker dying in hospital.
The director of the Council on Tobacco says the strong words and images are dramatic, because the situation is dramatic.
It's one reason Mario Bujold is happy Quebec's new anti-tobacco legislation came into effect last year.
"Very good legislation that has been adopted last November by the Quebec government. We're very pleased with that because there's a lot of measures that will really help to prevent, reduce and help smokers to quit smoking," said Bujold.
The new law tightens the rules around smoking, including making it illegal to smoke outside on a terrace, or inside a car when a child under the age of 16 is present.
Flavoured tobacco, including menthol cigarettes, is also now banned.
Ex-smoker and Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois says making it harder to smoke in public encourages people to quit -- because they're not surrounded by cigarettes.
"I know for myself -- and I spoke with other people that quit smoking -- with just one cigarette I can come back and smoke again like I was doing before with only one puff. I know that I can restart smoking and I don't want that," said Charlebois.
The law also bans e-cigarettes from public places - so anywhere you can't smoke you can't vape either.