Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of chronic disease morbidity and mortality in Canada (Makomaski I.E. et al)1,2,3,4,5,6. In fact, one-half of cigarette smokers will die of tobacco-related illness1. It exacts a high toll on the health of Canadians and places a heavy financial burden on the health care system – Tobacco use is the 2nd largest cost driver of health care spending in Ontario5,6.

Ontario’s primary care teams have taken a leadership role in addressing tobacco addiction within their clinical practices2. Many of the negative health effects of smoking can be reversed if smokers are able to successfully quit, making it the single most powerful – ‘gold standard’ – preventative intervention in clinical practice3. Research indicates that evidence-based assistance, including pharmacotherapy and counselling, to all smoking patients can significantly improve rates of cessation1,2,4.


  1. Makomaski I.E., Kaiserman M. Mortality attributable to tobacco use in Canada and its regions. 1998. Can J Public Health 2004; 95:38-44.
  2. Pipe A., Reid B., Quinlan B. Systematic Approaches to Smoking Cessation. 2007. Smoking Cessation Rounds 1;1.
  3. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute: Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation in Primary Care Program Summary, 2015. Ottawa. Ref Type: Report.
  4. Pipe, A., Papadakis, S. Coja, M., et al. (2014). Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation in Ontario Primary Care Teams: Annual Report 2013-2014.
  5. Corsi DJ, Lear SA, Chow CK, Subramanian SV, Boyle MH, Teo KK. Socioeconomic and Geographic Patterning of Smoking Behaviour in Canada: A Cross-Sectional Multilevel Analysis. PLOS ONE 2013; 8(2).
  6. Propel Centre for Population Health Impact. Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends, 2014 Edition. Waterloo, Ontario. Ref Type: Report.

Vascular Health Primary Care Work Group
Last Updated: February 3, 2017