Speaking About Smoking to Youth in Canada

by: News Canada

Did you know that the average age by which youth begin to experiment with tobacco is 12 years old? Did you know that these children can show signs of addiction within days of smoking only one cigarette, and that cigarette smoking is harder to quit than heroin or cocaine?

These are frightening facts. We need to reach young people early enough so that they stay smoke-free all their lives. In fact, it is known that if young people do not start smoking by age 20, it is unlikely that they will ever smoke.

One way to encourage youth to be tobacco free is with a youth council called the Youth Tobacco Team (YTT), comprised of 14-18 yo from communities throughout Ontario. The YTTs mandate is to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regarding ways to lessen tobacco use and encourage greater levels of smoking cessation among youth.

“Smoking among youth remains quite high, contrary to what some parents might think,” says Ross Reid, President and CEO of The Lung Association and sponsor of the YTT. “The young team we’ve assembled is committed and passionate about making a positive contribution toward curbing tobacco use among youth, and creating a healthier future for them.”

Ontario youth interested in volunteering on the Youth Tobacco Team are encouraged to call 1-888-566-5864 (LUNG) or visit the web site www.on.lung.ca. Become involved and help your friends stay smoke free!
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