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Campaigns to inform the public of these risks, combined with smoking legislation regulating age of access and smoking in public places, have led to a general decrease in smoking prevalence among all age groups in Canada.
About 15% of Canadian children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes.Canadian smoking rates have been steadily decreasing in all age groups since the early 1990s, but now seem to be stabilizing.
Therefore, tobacco use and second-hand tobacco smoke exposure are still critical national health concerns.
Health care professionals have key responsibilities in preventing tobacco use among youth and their families, and need to know more about effective smoking prevention and cessation strategies.
Clinicians need to integrate tobacco counselling into health assessments of teenagers and be aware of the roles that families, communities and governments can play in promoting tobacco-free environments.
For more information, see the CPS statement “E-cigarettes: Are we renormalizing public smoking? Strategies to prevent smoking initiation in children and adolescents are reviewed in the present position statement, with focus on interventions that can be performed in the health care setting.
Approaches to managing smoking cessation in adolescents are discussed in the practice point “Strategies to promote smoking cessation among adolescents”, also published in this issue.It is well known that tobacco use increases the risk for contracting a variety of diseases and health conditions, including lung, bladder, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, larynx, mouth, throat and other cancers, respiratory infections, diabetes and coronary heart disease.Risk levels increase steadily with the number of packs of cigarettes smoked, along with cumulative toxic effects on microvasculature that contribute to hair loss, skin wrinkling and the risk for erectile dysfunction. The negative effects of tobacco use during pregnancy are discussed in the CPS position statement “Use and misuse of tobacco among Aboriginal peoples”.There is adequate evidence to recommend that primary care clinicians provide interventions, including education and brief counselling, to prevent initiation of tobacco use in school-age children and adolescents. Counselling interventions can take many forms, including: Counselling can help counter or address an adolescent’s attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about smoking and its consequences, especially when they are mistaken or influenced by social or environmental factors, such as tobacco marketing.Counselling can also strengthen the development of social competence and social skills, thus helping youth to decline cigarettes. Smoking rates and the state of smoking interventions for children and adolescents with chronic illness.The two strongest factors associated with smoking initiation in children and adolescents are parental smoking and parental nicotine dependence. Certain attitudes and beliefs related to cigarette smoking are also important predictors of smoking initiation,Adapted from Sockrider M, Rosen JB.Prevention of smoking initiation in children and adolescents (updated February 2016): and information from the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B.Information, effective strategies and opportunities for health care professionals to intervene and advocate for Canadian adolescents are discussed.Key Words: 15 years of age (about 4.2 million people) were active smokers.Johanne Harvey, Nicholas Chadi; Canadian Paediatric Society, Adolescent Health Committee Paediatr Child Health 2016;21(4):209-14 Canada has witnessed a general decrease in smoking prevalence among all age groups in recent years.However, despite large numbers of campaigns and interventions, thousands of young Canadians continue to initiate cigarette smoking every year.