Province Launches Latest Instalment of Youth Anti-smoking Program

Manitoba News Release
January 19, 2011

Review and Rate VII Gets Underway During National Non-smoking Week

Another instalment of the Review and Rate program is being kicked off in schools across the province this week, Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau and Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.”National Non-smoking Week is a fitting time to launch this program as it discourages teens from starting to smoke and teaches them to make informed decisions about tobacco,” said Rondeau. “This is the seventh time we’ve run the program and we’re doing it again because it is making a difference.”

In the Review and Rate program, students view and discuss anti-smoking television ads and vote for those they believe are most effective in communicating the consequences of tobacco use. This year, they will view 15 different ads from places such as the US and Australia. The winning ad will air on television in Manitoba later in the year. Last year, approximately 23,000 students in grades six to 12 from 332 schools around the province participated in the program.

“Smoking rates in Manitoba among people aged 15 to 19 have declined from 29 per cent in 1999 to 18 per cent in 2009,” said Allan. “This is a terrific improvement but we want to see even more progress. Every year that we run it, Review and Rate reaches more students. We’ve now added another program called Back Off Tobacco that just started running in schools. This comprehensive approach will have an even greater impact.”

Back Off Tobacco was introduced in schools this year to help teachers include age-appropriate lessons about tobacco use from kindergarten through Grade 12. Resource materials are available at The program is designed to help students develop interpersonal skills which promote health-enhancing decision-making, and includes assertiveness and resistance training to help students resist peer pressure.

“We are tackling the issue of youth smoking from a number of directions,” said Rondeau. “Recent Manitoba studies have shown that even when parents smoke, if they ban smoking in their own home and vehicles, it will reduce the likelihood that their children will start smoking. This reinforces for us the importance of the legislation that came into effect last summer that prohibits smoking in vehicles when children under 16 are present.”

Another anti-smoking initiative, the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program, was expanded to schools across the province in 2009. As part of this program, high-school students make presentations to younger students about the health risks of tobacco use and encourage them not to start smoking.

National Non-smoking Week is January 16 to 22. More information about the annual event can be found at Further information on tobacco reduction in Manitoba is available online at

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