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Smoking kills 14 Quebecers a day: Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health

Tobacco-free week kicks off in Quebec
WATCH: Fourteen Quebecers die every day from lung cancer caused by smoking, according to the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health. But as Felicia Parrillo reports, the organization is hoping to change that.

This week marks tobacco-free week in Quebec and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

According to the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, there are 1.4 million smokers in the province.

In 2016, over 5,000 people died of lung cancer, directly related to smoking. That works out to 14 people a day.

READ MORE: Quebec’s new tobacco laws come into full effect Saturday

The organization says, one out of every two Quebecers will die because of smoking and that’s something it wants to help change.

“If we can convince two people, [to stop smoking], we’ll save one life,” medical oncologist, Dr. Martin Champagne, said.”I’m sure with this campaign we will convince a lot of people to try to stop smoking.”

To help convince Quebecers to stop smoking, the organization has introduced new televised commercials.

READ MORE: Smoking costs global economy $1 trillion a year, will kill 8 million a year by 2030: study

Mario Bujold, the organization’s executive director said the aim is to help people realize the impact of smoking.

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“There’s a very high risk of being affected by smoking or of having a disease or a health problem caused by smoking,” Bujold said. “We have to remember that because for many people, they see smoking as something normal.”

READ MORE: Your guide to New Year’s resolutions: How to quit smoking for good

According to a survey conducted by the organization, half of all Quebecers know at least one person who has suffered a major illness because of tobacco use.

“It is a lethal disease, it is a serious disease and we know that stopping smoking decreases your risk,” Champagne said. “So it is never too late to stop smoking.”

The organization is also encouraging smokers who want to quit, to visit its website, call 1-866 JARRETE (527-6383) or drop into their offices for support.

Help is both free and confidential.