Youth Smoking Rates Continue To Decline

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Youth Smoking

The number of Canadian youth trying tobacco products has continued to fall, Health Canada's 2004-2005 Youth Smoking Survey has found.

"The survey results show fewer young people in grades five to nine are trying and using tobacco products," said Minister Clement. "This research is evidence that progress is being made in discouraging youth from taking up smoking, which is one of the goals of the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy."

In 2004-05, only 21 per cent of youth in grades five through nine had tried any type of tobacco product. This represents a 50 per cent reduction over a 10-year period from the rate in 1994.

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The Youth Smoking Survey is a monitoring tool for Health Canada. It is intended to provide the department, its partners and stakeholders, and the Canadian public, with important information related to tobacco use, including estimates of smoking prevalence, for Canadian youth in grades five to nine.

For 2004-05, a national survey of more than 29,000 Canadian students in grades five to nine was conducted to monitor changes in smoking status and to provide information related to tobacco use in Canada. It is generally recognized that this is the population most at risk for trying tobacco products.

The implementation of the 2004-05 YSS was the result of a successful capacity building project funded by Health Canada through a contribution agreement between Health Canada, the University of Waterloo and its partners in a pan Canadian consortium of tobacco control researchers. Based on the success of this project, Health Canada has continued its collaboration with the University of Waterloo and the pan Canadian consortium of tobacco control researchers to conduct the 2006-07 YSS during the upcoming school year.

It is expected that the 2006-07 YSS will expand to include grades 5-12, with an estimated 100,000 students expected to participate making this the largest school based survey in Canada.

For additional information on the 2004-2005 Youth Smoking Survey and a summary of results, please visit GoSmokefree!.

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