Smoking rates among Indigenous youth are declining – Northern Ontario Medical Journal

April 15, 2019

Indigenous youth have higher risk factors for tobacco use than the general population, though data from tobacco prevention and cessation programs show that these initiatives are making a difference.

“The good news is that the smoking rates among Indigenous youth are decreasing,” said Kellie Milani, Youth Development Specialist for the Northwest Tobacco Control Area Network (TCAN).

Her catchment area covers roughly the same area as the North West LHIN, with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit as the coordinating health unit.

“Definitely the evidence shows that Indigenous youth smoke at a higher rate – and Indigenous adults also smoke at a higher rate – than non-Indigenous persons. Indigenous youth also have an earlier age of initiation, so that’s something that’s on our radar as well,” Milani said. “The use of commercial tobacco is more socially accepted.”

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