Children playing outside
print header

Schools & Child Care

Smoking and Vaping Resources for Secondary Educators

Smoking continues to be the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Ontario. The good news is that smoking rates have been dropping over the past decades. Among Simcoe Muskoka youth in Grades 7-12 the rate has dropped to 6.7%. However, there is a real concern about the number of young people who are experimenting with vaping. In grades 7-12 e-cigarette use in Simcoe Muskoka has significantly increased from 17.7% in 2015 to 31.6% in 2019. This is significantly higher compared to the provincial average (22.7%). Today’s youth are at risk becoming the newest generation to be addicted to the nicotine found in many e-liquids. Vaping devices are often small and can resemble a pen or memory stick which makes them easy to overlook. Students are being quite bold about using these devices in the classroom, in school hallways, on the school bus and bathrooms.

Educators play a significant role in reducing initiation of smoking and vaping and promoting healthy smoke and vape-free choices. Information about all commercial tobacco and e-cigarettes including cessation supports and legislation are available here. (The term commercial tobacco is used to differentiate tobacco industry products from, and to acknowledge the use of, traditional tobacco that forms part of Indigenous culture and spirituality.)

Information, including quitting supports and the law that deals with the use, sale and supply of tobacco and vaping products are available here.

  • Not An Experiment - A web-based ( health promotion initiative. Downloadable materials including an escape room activity support education partners in teaching youth and adults about vaping, the industry, the health effects and quit resources. A discussion guide reinforces key learnings and guides adults in engaging youth to take action and share learnings. “Take Action” tools are also provided. Grades 7-12.

  • 100% Smoke-, Vape- and Cannabis-Free School Grounds Requirement: the Smoke-Free Ontario Act now designates all school property and a 20-metre radius around the property (the equivalent of two school buses lengths) as 100% tobacco, vape and cannabis free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. The health unit provides signage and offers information and resources that can be used to communicate with the school community. Tobacco enforcement officers inspect schools and work with school administrators to support compliance with the law.
Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...