Smoking is among the most addictive and harmful habits affecting
Smoking accounts for three million deaths world wide each year
and out of these, 46,000 occur in Canada. According to the Canadian
Council on Smoking and Health there are more deaths from smoking-related
illnesses in Canada than all the deaths caused by traffic accidents,
murders, suicides, drug abuse and AIDS combined.
Smoking is the leading cause of early death, illness and disability.
Cigarettes contain more than 4000 different chemicals. More than
50 of these substances lead to cancer. The nicotine in cigarettes,
which creates a relaxed or stimulated feeling, is at the same
time is very addictive. The body becomes dependent upon having
the chemical. This dependency or addiction puts long time smokers
at risk for various diseases related to smoking.
Every day in British Columbia, 20 teens take up smoking. The
age at which kids are beginning to smoke is declining. The "Decisions"
survey done by Jennifer Sirges, in 1997 showed 28% of the students
at PHSS smoke regularly and 71% have tried smoking. Aspects such
as the environment in your home can predict the likelihood of
you smoking. Kids whose parents smoke are twice as likely to
end up smoking. If their friends smoke they are 16 times as likely
to smoke than those whose friends don't.
The Truth About Smoking
- Smoking causes 46,000 deaths
in Canada each year and 3 million deaths worldwide.
- There are over 4000 chemicals
in one cigarette, including arsenic, ammonia and cyanide.
- The 43 chemicals found in second-hand
smoke can cause cancer.
- 6.5 million Canadians, over
the age of 15, are regular smokers.
- 85% of smokers would like to
- 95% of smokers that quit, do
so "cold turkey".
- Most smokers start because of
Many efforts are being put in to help prevent youth from smoking.
There is a district-wide policy that near schools. Also the legal
age to buy cigarettes is 19 and more and more no-smoking laws
in public areas are coming into effect. The Workers Compensation
of Health and
Municipalities have established a cooperative approach to creating
province-wide workplaces free of second hand smoke. This act
will be put into place on January 1, 2000 and will apply to all
public places. A bylaw has already been put into effect in Vancouver
public places. The Angus Reed survey showed 72% of British Columbians
support the bylaw barring smoking in indoor public places. Even
so, the acts which try to prohibit smoking do not always discourage
smokers from doing so.
School wide education on smoking is becoming more important.
Smoking prevention groups such as Decisions, run by Jennifer
Sirges at PHSS, recruits senior students who are non-smokers
to be peer educators to talk to younger students about smoking.
It is a good way to be a positive. influence and role model in
"I think the program worked really well, a lot of grade
eights I see in the high school don't smoke," Renee Taylor
A smoking cessation starting September '99 is looking for teens
interested in facilitating this program, which is not yet named,
and teens who want to quit smoking. May 31st was also World No-Tobacco
Many people, are trying to make others aware of the consequences
of smoking, but it is up to the individuals involved to listen
and to make the choice for themselves.