October 29th, 2020

// The Toker swoops in to share the risks of cannabis smoke on lung health

The Toker swoops in to share the risks of cannabis smoke on lung health

A campaign developed by Lung Health Foundation with funding from Health Canada to reach young adults where they are overconsuming online, encouraging them to consider the lung health risk and harm of cannabis smoking 

TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2020 /CNW/ – The Lung Health Foundation has launched the second iteration of its comic-book inspired cannabis public health education initiative, the Toker. 

First launched last year, the Toker was created to educate Canadians about the lung health risks associated with cannabis smoking through a series of humorous videos shared on digital platforms. Now, the Toker is back to remind Canadians about these risks by reaching them where they’re already overconsuming – online. 

In today’s world, with pandemic-related restrictions, research shows many Canadians are overindulging in online behaviours, like streaming video content.i,ii

Additional research also shows that many Canadians who are cannabis users have increased their consumption of the substance during the pandemic.iii This is alarming, as many young Canadian adults are still unaware of the lung health risks that come with smoking cannabis.iv

That’s why the Toker will appear on young Canadians’ screens at the exact moments they’re overindulging in online behaviours and, through a series of humorous exchanges, encourage them to learn more about the impact of frequent cannabis smoking. Canadians will be directed to TheTokerOnline.ca where they can access educational resources to learn more.

“It was important for us to consider how the Toker can continue to reach young Canadian adults in a meaningful way and the pandemic we are all experiencing certainly added another layer to that,” said George Habib, President and CEO, Lung Health Foundation. “By connecting with young Canadians online through funny, light-hearted interactions, we hope to encourage them to learn more about the impact cannabis smoke can have on their lungs in an organic, yet impactful way.”

About the Toker

Funded by Health Canada, the Toker is a comic-book inspired public health education initiative aimed at Canadians between the ages of 18 to 25, as part of an ongoing effort to implement national and community-based projects that raise awareness about the health effects of cannabis. The Toker illustrates his failure to “save the day” due to symptoms he experiences as a result of cannabis smoking. 

A national cannabis survey conducted by Leger on behalf of the Lung Health Foundation revealed that smoking is the most common form of consumption (87 per cent) for Canadian cannabis users between ages 18 and 25, and 64 per cent say they wish they knew more about the impact on their lungs.v Studies have shown that heavy or long-term smoking of cannabis may lead to chronic bronchitis and a worsening of chronic lung disease symptoms including cough, excessive sputum, wheezing and a decline in lung function.vi

Prioritizing lung health is crucial to preventing future health problems. Canadians are encouraged to visit TheTokerOnline.ca to follow the misguided adventures of the Toker and learn more about the effects of smoking cannabis on lung health.

About the Lung Health Foundation 

The Lung Health Foundation is the leading health charity dedicated to improving lung health through a uniquely integrated approach that identifies gaps and fills them through investments in ground-breaking research and urgently needed programs and supports; policy and practice change; and promoting awareness about lung health issues affecting all Canadians.

To learn more about the Lung Health Foundation, visit https://lunghealth.ca/.

References 

i MiQ. Adapting TV tactics for COVID-19. Part-2 – Changing habits and OTT. Available from: https://www.wearemiq.com/blog/adapting-tv-tactics-for-covid-part-2-changing-habits-and-ott/. Accessed October 6, 2020. 
ii Kantar. Global Web Index March 2020.
iii Canadian Red Cross. COVID-19 Pan-Canadian Tracking Study. Available from: https://www.redcross.ca/crc/documents/LegerReport_COVID-19-Tracking-Study_W3_V1_2020-06-12.pdf. Accessed October 6, 2020. 
iv Leger 2019, Cannabis & Lung Health, pg 15, 27 (On File)
v Leger 2019, Cannabis & Lung Health, pg 15, 27 (On File)
vi Lung Health Foundation. Cannabis Use. Available from: https://lunghealth.ca/cannabis/. Accessed October 6, 2020. 

SOURCE Lung Health Foundation

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