Even though it’s illegal to give or sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19, teens continue to smoke. For many, the result is a lifelong addiction that has serious health consequences. To change the number of teens who start smoking tobacco, we need to ensure that sources such as friends, family and strangers do not exist.
The Central East Tobacco Control Area Network (CETCAN), partnered with The Regional Municipality of York (CETCAN member), and the Not to Kids Coalition to find out who’s providing cigarettes to teens and why. We learned that young adults aged 19-25 commonly give cigarettes to teens – usually a younger friend or sibling. When we asked ‘why’, most young adults told us it is the easiest thing to do and they are just trying to be nice.
But let’s face it. Giving cigarettes to teens is a bad way to be nice and it needs to stop. Which is why we created Bad Ways To Be Nice – a campaign that aims to convince young adults 19-25 that there really is no excuse for giving cigarettes to teens. More teens get addicted to tobacco if they can get cigarettes easily.
When you stop and think about it, maybe it’s time to do something different.
If a teen approaches you to buy them cigarettes, don’t buy them, find a way to say no.
If you see others supplying cigarettes to teens, talk to them about this being a bad way to be nice.
If your job requires you to sell tobacco, you can help prevent teens from smoking by not selling to them.
Supplying Cigarettes to Teens Isn’t Nice to You Either!
It is illegal to supply cigarettes or e-cigarettes (vapes) to a person who is under 19 years of age. This means by selling or giving cigarettes, other commercial tobacco products or vapes to your friend who is under 19 you could be fined up to $490.