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Youth and Young Adult Prevention

Preventing youth and young adult addiction

Ask anyone who smokes, or who has quit, and they will tell you it's so easy to get addicted to the nicotine in tobacco and vaping products and so hard to quit.

That's why it is so important to encourage our children from a young age and through their lives to choose to be smoke and vape free.

While many youth and young adults understand the dangers of smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes and vaping are becoming popular. Marketed as less harmful than smoking tobacco, they are not harmless! Many e-cigarettes have high levels of nicotine, making them very addictive. Since we don't yet know the long-term health effects of vaping, young people who vape are now the guinea pigs for the dangers of vaping, and are taking a real gamble with their health. The message is clear - if you don't smoke, don't vape.

We can promote tobacco and vape-free living by supporting policies that limit the places people can use these products. That sends the message that smoking and vaping are not socially acceptable. This type of advocacy will also protect our families from drifting secondhand smoke.

The following are just a few of the programs and projects that promote tobacco and smoke-free living that we are working on with our provincial partners to support a healthy community for all.

Smoke-Free Movies: Movies influence kids and smoking scenes increase the chances they will try smoking. These smoking scenes not only glamourize this addictive and unhealthy behaviour, they also normalize the use of tobacco products of all kinds. If we get smoking out of movies that are rated for children and youth, we can cut off an effective advertising avenue for the tobacco industry. Here's what you need to know and how to take action.

Smoke-free college and university campuses: Our children's elementary and secondary school days are spent on school grounds that are No Smoking (and now No Vaping) under Ontario law. So why aren't post-secondary college and university campuses all smoke free too? It is currently up to each individual campus to set the rules for smoking and vaping anything outdoors on their sites. By promoting smoke-free and vape-free campuses, we can help our young adults stay, or become, free of all types of smoke, and we can protect others from secondhand smoke. Learn more and get your campus involved in a One-Day Stand. Visit smokefreecampus.ca.

Party Without The Smoke: If you only smoke on weekends or at parties, are you really a smoker? The problem is nicotine is highly addictive and the more often you smoke or vape a nicotine product, the more likely you are to get hooked. To stay smoke/vape free, or to begin your journey to become smoke free, here's an opportunity to challenge yourself to party without the smoke. One step at a time you can break the association between partying and tobacco industry products, and that's good news for your health.

That's Risky: We might not think it's going to happen to us but most of us know the dangers of using tobacco industry products. But it's also important to consider what risk our actions pose for our friends and loved ones. Secondhand smoke is extra dangerous for women from the start of puberty until they have a baby. Learn more about reducing risks, whether you smoke or spend time around someone who does.

 

Bad Ways To Be Nice: We did some research with young adults who give cigarettes to teens. They told us that when they give cigarettes to a younger sibling or friend, they're just trying to be nice. The problem is when you think about it, giving cigarettes to teens isn't nice at all. Time to learn how to say no.

 

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