Smoking & Tobacco

Smoking

Tobacco use is one of the single largest threats to the health of individuals and communities in the Island Health region. Smoking kills more people in British Columbia than all other drugs, motor vehicle collisions, murder, suicide and HIV/AIDS combined. Read more about tobacco.

There are things you can do to prevent illnesses related to tobacco use, for yourself and your community.

Smoking and COVID-19

People who smoke and vape – even younger people - are at higher risk of more severe illness and complications from COVID-19.

If you smoke or vape, remember to maintain a safe physical distance from others. 

Wash your hands well with soap and water before and after smoking or vaping. Do not share cigarettes, joints, pipes, water pipes or vaping devices.

It's a good time to quit smoking and vaping. Get quit support at quitnow.ca

Learn about cannabis and your health.

Reasons to quit

Everyone has his or her own reasons for quitting, like the effects on your health and the impacts on your family. Knowing your reasons for quitting can help you stay motivated. 

Help to quit

It’s never too late to quit smoking. There are supports available to help you start a smoke-free life:

Tobacco-free living

Island Health’s Tobacco and Vapour Prevention and Control program helps promote tobacco and vapour-free activities and smoke and vapour-free places particularly for young people.

Visiting an Island Health facility

Island Health has a smoke-free premises policy. Having surgery? Get help to quit smoking before surgery.  

Resources for Health Professionals

Helping People Quit. 
Smoking Cessation Intranet site 

Aboriginal Communities

The Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities (AHLA)  is a provincially funded program designed to bring together community leaders and individuals who are passionate about health and wellness and to promote healthy living including reduction of tobacco misuse. Contact the program manager  for more information.  

News & Events

Urgent and primary care centre coming to Esquimalt

People living in Esquimalt and neighbouring communities will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with planning for an urgent and primary care centre.

Read more

British Columbians warned of Salmonella infections

British Columbians warned of Salmonella infections

British Columbia (B.C.) is one of five provinces experiencing an ongoing Salmonella outbreak.

Read more

A passion for public health: meet Mike Benusic, Island Health’s new MHO

A passion for public health: meet Mike Benusic, Island Health’s new MHO

Sometimes life really does come full circle – just ask Mike Benusic.

Read more