Youth Respecting Tobacco


​Teens say there are lots of reasons to not pick up that first cigarette

​​​​The High Rate of Teen Smoking

First Nations teens smoke at a rate two to three time​​s higher than other teens in BC. Many start smoking cigarettes before they start high school. A group of teens got together to do something about it.​

Teens' Reasons Not ​to Smoke

​Teens say there are lots of reasons to not pick up that first cigarette: 

  • "Bad breath!" – You don’t want your friends to smell your breath from a mile away. Your clothes will also get smelly (rainy days make this even worse) and perfumes can’t even mask the smoky smell.
  • "It’s not sexy!" – Kissing someone who has just smoked a cigarette is kinda gross … And your friends probably won’t appreciate your second-hand smoke.
  • "It’s gonna slow you down!" – Smoking affects your lungs and your ability to breathe while exercising – so running the length of the field or dribbling down the court is harder. It’s not fun to be on the losing end of the game. ​

Classroom Package

"We made these videos because someone had to stand up to big tobacco and fight for our health!"​


  • Respecting T​obacco – FNHA wellness stream webpage
  • Break It​ ​Off – a campaign that helps young adults quit smoking and stay smoke-free
  • Indigenous Tobacc​o Program – Cancer Care Ontario program that works with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to reduce and prevent commercial tobacco addiction.​


​​Office of the Chief Medical Officer
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