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Saskatchewan Focuses on Youth Tobacco Reduction

News Release – January 18, 2013

Province Marks National Non-Smoking Week

The Government of Saskatchewan continues efforts to reduce tobacco use in the province, particularly among young people. In recognition of National Non-Smoking Week (January 20-26), the Ministry of Health has launched the second phase of a youth anti-tobacco campaign, targeted at young people between the ages of 11 and 14 years. This age group is particularly vulnerable to experimenting with tobacco and the campaign encourages them to remain tobacco-free or quit using tobacco.

“Protecting youth and educating them about the harms associated with tobacco remains a priority for our Government,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. “This campaign has a strong anti-tobacco message coming from Saskatchewan youth, and we hope the voices of their peers will help persuade young people to stay tobacco free.”

The campaign includes a television and cinema ad, (view at www.health.gov.sk.ca/smokestream) online and Facebook ads featuring compelling comments from Saskatchewan youth about the negative impact of tobacco. The comments were collected during phase one of the youth anti-tobacco campaign in 2012 through smokestream.ca and classroom presentations to more than 3,000 Saskatchewan students.

Through the provincial tobacco reduction strategy, Saskatchewan has made progress in important areas of tobacco reduction by supporting a number of initiatives, including:

  • Amending The Tobacco Control Act to further restrict smoking and protect people from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke. This legislation includes restrictions on the sale and advertising of tobacco, as well as a ban on smoking in enclosed public places, on school grounds and in vehicles with children present.
  • Providing funding to the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division to deliver the Smokers’ Help-Line (1-877-513-5333), which offers cessation advice to smokers.
  • Assisting people looking for help to quit using tobacco through Partnership to Assist with the Cessation of Tobacco (PACT) and online PACT cessation training to professionals from a variety of disciplines. PACT resources can be accessed at http://www.makeapact.ca/.
  • The “View and Vote” program in which students in Grades 6 to 12 view anti-tobacco ads and vote on the ones that they think are most effective. View and Vote has been offered every two years by the Ministry of Health since 2006.
  • In spring 2012, more than $700,000 in funding was awarded to three regional projects that reach people and areas of the province with the highest tobacco use rates: The Green Light Program, Northern Saskatchewan Tobacco Reduction Initiative and the Battlefords Family Health Centre Smoke-free Community Initiative.

The Ministry of Health has been collaborating with provincial stakeholders throughout the implementation of the tobacco reduction strategy.

Saskatchewan’s overall smoking prevalence decreased by 3.4 per cent between the 2007/2008 and 2009/2010, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey. In 2009/2010 (the most recent year for which data is available), 22.0 per cent of the Saskatchewan population aged 12 years and over reported smoking daily or occasionally, which is an all-time low. The national average is 20.4 per cent.

For more information on tobacco reduction in Saskatchewan and supports to help people quit smoking, visit the Ministry of Health website at http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/smoking-and-your-health.

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For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: [email protected]