HEALTH Minister Terry Lake issued the following statement in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month:

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and despite having the lowest lung cancer rate in the country, it is estimated over 3,000 British Columbians will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year alone.

“Lung Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to recognize our efforts to reduce exposure to the number one cause of this disease – smoking. About 90 per cent of lung cancer patients are smokers, former smokers or people exposed to second-hand smoke.

“Fortunately, B.C. has had the lowest smoking rate in Canada for the last 14 years and the numbers keep dropping. B.C.’s overall smoking rate fell to 13.2 per cent in 2012 from 14.2 per cent in 2011. This demonstrates that services like our Smoking Cessation Program are getting positive results and supporting British Columbians to improve their health.

“Since the Smoking Cessation Program was launched in September 2011, a total of 232,142 orders for nicotine replacement therapies have been placed through HealthLink BC (8-1-1). British Columbians who register with the Smoking Cessation Program can also receive further support via web, text and telephone from QuitNow Services.

“Quitting smoking is one of the best things someone can do for their health. Taking advantage of this comprehensive range of services is a great way to start the quitting process and protect themselves from chronic diseases like lung cancer.”

For more information, visit: