How can you make a difference in your school, family, or community? How about creating your own healthy living message?

Facts about Tobacco Use

Most people who use tobacco start in their teens. This makes sense—after all, tobacco kills half of its users, so the people who sell tobacco products need to keep finding new, younger customers. The reasons teens give for smoking are similar—they think it looks cool, or their friends do it. Sometimes they are influenced by people in their lives, possibly even their parents. But here’s what you need to know about tobacco use.

There’s nothing cool about it. When you start using tobacco because you’ve seen it in the media or in advertisements, you should know that you are being manipulated. Tobacco companies use many means to appeal to young people, from featuring cartoon characters to having movie and tv stars smoke. They know that if you don’t start to smoke during adolescence you are unlikely ever to become a smoker. They also know that smokers who start at a younger age are more likely to become regular and heavier smokers, and are less likely to quit. Finally, they know that tobacco addiction is powerful, and that’s why they want to get you hooked now. But you don’t have to fall for that. You should know that tobacco is the single leading preventable cause of cancer death. It kills over 45,000 Canadians each year.

If you want to learn more about tobacco and youth in B.C., take a look at this presentation we made with Interior Health.

Hi5 Ways to be Tobacco Free

  • Want to know more about how the tobacco companies sell you on smoking? TheChildren’s Rights Council has plenty of info on tobacco marketing, and on smoking and its effects.
  • Think about the costs of tobacco use not only to your health, but to your wallet. Want to see how much it is costing you to smoke? Check out this tobacco cost calculator.
  • Think vaping is better than cigarettes? Unfortunately we just don’t know enough to say.
  • Want to find out more about how the tobacco companies try to get youth hooked?
  • If you do use tobacco and need help quitting, a great resource in British Columbia is at or you can call 877.455.2233 or text ‘JOIN’ to 654321.