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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reports that approximately 5.5% of Windsor-Essex youth, ages 12 to 19 years old, are identified as current smokers.
They stress that although this rate may seem low, the people that make up this number are at high risk of creating a life-long addiction to tobacco. These youth are also getting tobacco illegally, since the legal age to buy tobacco is 19 years old. In Ontario, a number of students identified that they have easy access to tobacco products.
In a study conducted about the social supply of tobacco, it was found that young adults between 19 and 25 often gave cigarettes to teens they knew. A friend or relative may think they are “just being nice” by buying, or giving cigarettes to a teenager; however, supporting the creation of an addiction is a bad way to be nice.
Bad Ways to be Nice is a campaign that educates people about the consequences of giving tobacco products to teenagers.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is encouraging those who give tobacco products to teens to visit BadWaysToBeNice.com. The website offers ideas on how to “say no” to requests for tobacco.
You can also visit the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s website to view the Bad ways to be nice videos. See real people’s reactions when a young child asks them for a cigarette.