Based on 2017 data from Health Canada and Statistics Canada,  15.1% of Canadians (approximately 4.6 million) were current smokers and smoking prevalence was lowest among youth aged 15-19 (7.9%). Of youth in grades 7-9 in 2016-17, 8.6% of students had ever tried a cigarette and 1.0% of students were current smokers overall, varying by grade. Of youth aged 15-19 in 2017, 16.4% reported ever having smoked a whole cigarette and 7.9% were current smokers overall, with age-specific rates ranging from 4.1% among 15- and 16-year-olds to 14.4% of 19-year-olds. In 2016-17, 12.6% of Canadian students in grades 7-9 reported ever trying an e-cigarette, and 5.4% had used one in the past 30 days. Prevalence of e-cigarette use among youth aged 15-19 was 22.8%. Tobacco Use in Canada: Patterns and Trends 2019 Edition

Abstaining from smoking is associated with many health benefits, as well as higher school engagement and academic motivation.

Anti-Tobacco Campaigns and Resources

Cost Calculator

Health Canada. 

A tool to calculate the monetary cost of smoking, and the savings if you were to quit today.

Freeze the Industry

A youth-led campaign to raise awareness about the ways the tobacco industry makes their products appealing to youth.

Smoke-Free Movies

Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies . 

The Coalition brings together concerned health organizations and over 40 endorsing organizations who aim to raise awareness about the impact that smoking in movies has on youth smoking. Health organizations internationally, including the Surgeon General, have drawn a causal link between smoking that is seen on screen and youth smoking initiation and support actions recommended by the World Health Organization. Specifically the recommendation that a change be made to the rating system to ensure that any future movies released in Ontario rated for children and teens (G, PG, 14A) are free from smoking images and tobacco products.

Selling Tobacco - Lesson Plan

Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. 

Students explore how tobacco advertising has evolved over the past sixty years. They begin by discussing advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry; and then they compare ads from the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, with more recent tobacco advertising. Using online databases of tobacco advertisements, each student will research and prepare an essay on a selected topic, such as the advertising history of one brand, how tobacco advertising has changed over time, gender representation in tobacco ads, and strategies geared to a particular target audiences. This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Youth Initiatives

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 

A leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. Through strategic communications and policy advocacy campaigns, they promote the adoption of proven solutions that are most effective at reducing tobacco use and save the most lives. Youth initiatives include: Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action; Taking Down Tobacco Training Program; Youth Engagement Alliance; National Youth Ambassadors; and Youth Advocates Awards.


Truth Initiative. 

An anti-tobacco campaign that uses online engagement tools to deliver facts about the health effects and social consequences of tobacco, and raises awareness about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The website provides ideas for actions that can be taken to reduce tobacco use among youth.

Traditional Use of Tobacco

Know Tobacco

The Lung Association. 

Background information on the traditional use of tobacco in First Nations and Métis cultures designed for students in Grades 6-8.

Northern Tobacco Strategy

Northern Healthy Communities Partnership (NHCP). 

The Northern Tobacco Strategy works to build environments that are resistant to commercial tobacco use while being respectful of the traditional use of tobacco, focussing on two target populations: pre and post-natal mothers and youth.

Cessation Programs


A smartphone app designed to help teens quit smoking. The app helps to: create your own Quit Kit with customized tips and materials; check your progress and earn badges for smoke-free milestones; get back on track if you have a slip and smoke; manage cravings and bad moods in healthy ways; etc.

Break It Off

Health Canada and Canadian Cancer Society. 

Break It Off is a campaign that helps young adults quit smoking and stay smoke-free. The smartphone app and social media pages (Facebook and Instagram) are designed to help teens quit with tips on resisting urges, alternatives to dealing with stress or other triggering situations, understanding slip-ups, ways to track their progress, and ways to share their achievements.

Smokefree Teen 

Provides information on the risks of tobacco, triggers, and vaping; and tools (text programs, apps and live chats) specifically for teens to become smoke-free, dip-free and quit vaping. The smokefreeTXT program sends encouragement, advice, and tips (3-5 messages per day) to help youth quit.

Break It Off

Health Canada and Canadian Cancer Society. 

Break It Off is a campaign that helps young adults quit smoking and stay smoke-free. The campaign provides information on how to quit smoking and/or vaping, including different methods (counselling, nicotine replacement, prescription medication, doing it alone), supports (quit coach, Facebook group, discussion group) and resources.

Ready Set Quit

The Lung Association - Saskatchewan. 

A guide to quitting smoking available for download or order.

Quit4Life Guide for Program Facilitators

Health Canada. 

Quit4Life is a 10-week, four-step group program designed to be delivered by an adult facilitator who has experience working with youth, in a school or community setting. The target group is teenagers who want to quit smoking.

In this guide, facilitators will find session plans with content and suggested activities for each of the ten core sessions that make up the 4-step Quit4Life program. There is also a plan for one optional follow-up session on managing the hopes and fears related to quitting smoking. The Quit4Life handbook is an essential component of the Quit4Life program.

My Journey With Tobacco: Youth Tobacco Cessation Toolkit, Facilitator’s Guide

National Association of Friendship Centres (NACF). 

This guide provides youth workers or others with ideas on designing and facilitating tobacco cessation programming for urban Aboriginal youth. It also presents a series of activities that could be used with youth to help them on their journey to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. This guide is meant to accompany the NAFC's youth tobacco cessation toolkit which provides Aboriginal youth with tobacco education activities, facts and research.

Smokers' Helpline

Canadian Cancer Society. 

Smokers' Helpline has proven, free and personalized tools to help you quit successfully.

Talk Tobacco - Indigenous Quit Smoking and Vaping Support

Canadian Cancer Society. 

Talk Tobacco is a free, confidential telephone service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society offering culturally appropriate support and information about quitting smoking, vaping and commercial tobacco use to Indigenous communities. Talk Tobacco has been developed with input from First Nation, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous partners, community members and service providers to meet the unique needs of these communities. The Talk Tobacco phone service is currently available in Ontario. Interpreter services are available in French, and 14 Indigenous Languages.

Health Impacts of Tobacco

The Real Cost - Addiction Quiz

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

A quiz to help youth determine whether they are addicted to tobacco. The website also includes many resources to help them quit and become aware of the costs of tobacco use.

Health Effects - Smoking and Tobacco Use

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

A website dedicated to the health effects of smoking and tobacco use such as: cancer, heart disease and stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including risks in pregnancy.

Health Effects - Interactive Virtual Tour

Cancer Society of Finland. 

A website showing an interactive visual tour of how tobacco effects different parts of the body for males and females.

Second-hand Smoke - Quiz 

A quiz to learn about the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Dangers of Second-hand Smoke

Government of Canada. 

Information on second-hand smoke, associated health risks, and ways to protect yourself from it.

Vaping & E-Cigarettes

E-Cigarettes: Separate the Myths from the Facts

Center on Addiction. 

Information and resources for addressing substance use and addiction, including e-cigarettes and vaping.

Vaping Resource for Schools

Joint Consortium for School Health. 

This toolkit provides tools and resources for school staff, who are working to address the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products in schools. The toolkit outlines opportunities for action that can be taken by various school staff, along with resources and tools to help.

Support youth and community well-being through the collaborative action of community partners working together. Through evidence, tools and resources, SAYCW supports stakeholders to turn the knowledge gained through the youth health survey into health promoting action.

Youth-focused Mental Health Action Report shines light on challenges and ignites movement for solutions
A new report released this week is bringing attention to mental health challenges faced by more than 10,000 youth across the province—and actions at the grassroots level to ignite change.

Read More

This report provides a brief review of the scientific literature on COVID-19 and its effects on youth health, with particular emphasis on mental health.  SAYCW shares relevant data from the pre-pandemic, 2019 SAYCW survey – these findings show how stressors and unhealthy behaviours that have been worsened by the pandemic (e.g., worry, connection with others, screen time, etc.) had impacted Saskatchewan youths’ health and well-being prior to the pandemic. Suggested health promotion actions to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and improve youth health and well-being are also shared.

Click here to read the report


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