Youth Smoking Rates In Canada At Lowest Rates Ever

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Youth Smoking Rates In Canada

Smoking rates among Canadian youth are at their lowest ever.

The results, which came from data collected between February and December 2006, show a significant decrease in the smoking rates among youth aged 15-19 years over the past 12 months, with 15% of youth reporting smoking in 2006, down from 18% for the same period one year ago.

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"I am extremely pleased to see that our governments' efforts in tobacco control have made such a positive impact, especially among our younger Canadians," said Health Minister Tony Clement. "These results encourage us to continue to work collectively towards reducing smoking rates in Canada."

The 2006 survey found that fewer than five million Canadians, representing 19% of the population aged 15 years or older, were current smokers. Results indicate that, between 1985 and 2006, smoking rates have fallen by almost one-half, from 35% to 19%.

While the achievements so far are impressive, much remains to be done. Smoking is still the most preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada. More than 37,000 people will die prematurely each year in Canada due to tobacco use, including at least 800 non-smokers who will die from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Understanding Canadian trends in tobacco use helps to effectively develop, implement and evaluate national tobacco control strategies, policies and programs.

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