Bad Ways To Be Nice Toolkit

Below is an overview of the Bad Ways to Be Nice campaign and related resources that have been developed to help our partners spread the word. Please fill out our ACTIVITY TRACKING SURVEY if you have participated in this campaign in any way.

Campaign Overview


Even though the sale and supply of cigarettes to people under the age of 19 is illegal under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, cigarettes still find their way into the hands of teens. But why? 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 how youth younger than 19 get their cigarettes, and how and why people supply them.

What did we find out? We held some focus groups and learned that while many teens get cigarettes from retailers and even their parents, one of the main ways teens get tobacco is from young adults (usually older friends and siblings) aged 19-25.

The focus group findings suggested that young adult suppliers:

  • don’t think twice about supplying cigarettes to teens;
  • feel teens who smoke are going to smoke anyway, so supplying tobacco is no big deal;
  • feel smoking is part of growing up and would rather their friend(s) or sibling(s) get cigarettes from them than from dubious sources or by stealing;
  • haven’t thought about the potential serious consequences of aiding an addiction;
  • feel that not supplying a cigarette results in awkwardness or conflict, so they go with the flow;
  • think they are being nice at first, but when probed to think about the issue, admit that giving cigarettes to teens isn’t nice at all

Based on our findings, the Bad Ways to Be Nice campaign was created to reduce social supply of cigarettes to teens from young adults like older siblings and friends. The campaign highlights that, even with the best intentions, giving a cigarette to a teen is a bad way to be nice.

About the Campaign

The campaign uses funny examples of poor attempts at being nice to grab the attention of young adults and encourage them to share content with their peers. Videos, a website, posters, online display ads, photos and street level activities have all been created to help get the message out to social suppliers in a thought-provoking and entertaining way. By comparing socially supplying cigarettes to other “nice” actions with more immediate consequences, the campaign aims to encourage young adults to think critically about some of the common reasons people give for supplying cigarettes to teens, like; “He/she is just going to smoke anyway” or “I’m helping make sure it’s done in a safe way” or “I’m just being nice”.

Get Involved

We’ve developed this toolkit so that you can help spread the Bad Ways to Be Nice message in your community!

The goal of Bad Ways to Be Nice is to change the social norm so that the act of socially supplying tobacco to teens becomes less common and, ultimately, unacceptable. The most important audience for this campaign is young adults 19-25 years of age. The key message is that supplying cigarettes to teens isn’t nice and has potentially bad outcomes.

Tools To Help Spread the Word:


Three videos have been developed that communicate the Bad Ways To Be Nice message in humorous and entertaining ways. These videos will be airing in movie theatres and are featured heavily on our own Bad Ways to Be Nice website. We encourage you to share these videos with young adult and community partners.

You can view the videos here. To obtain a copy, please contact



There is an option to run two display ads on websites commonly visited by young adults 19-25 years of age . A sample of the display ads are included in this toolkit. If you are interested in running these ads in your community, please contact to obtain a copy.

Bad-Ways-To-Be-Nice-online-ads2 Bad-Ways-To-Be-Nice-online-ads1


Campaign posters designed to drive traffic to our website are also included in this toolkit. We encourage you to approach places where young adults spend time (e.g. local bars and restaurants, coffee shops, public libraries, universities, colleges and trade schools, community centres) that might be interested in displaying the posters. To obtain copies of the posters, please contact us at

bad ways to be nice poster_4-1

Poster concept  for schools





Our website is where you can find our videos and where people can go to learn more about us and the campaign.  It also offers visitors tips on ‘how to say no’ to teens who may ask them for cigarettes.


On our website, we encourage people to submit their own Bad Ways To Be Nice photos and memes. You can encourage other young adults to submit photos/memes on the website and ask them to share other creative campaign ideas with you. Let us know what ideas you come up with as we’re always looking for creative ways to extend the campaign.


Please help by promoting the Bad Ways to Be Nice website in your community and on your on own website and social media pages. It would be great if you’d link your followers to the Bad Ways To Be Nice website and be sure to post the campaign videos on your website and/or social media.


We have developed street level activities to help generate interest in the Bad Ways to Be Nice campaign in your community! One example is the Photobooth activity that focuses on engaging young adults in your community and driving them to the campaign website. See Street Level Activity Sheet(s) for concept overview, goals, key message, required materials, activity description and speaking notes. Click here to view an activity sheet.

Photobooth Activity
Post It Activity


When creating content related to Bad Ways to Be Nice, (ie., memes, social media posts, grassroots activities etc.,) please ensure it is positive and respectful. Avoid content that offends, humiliates or bullies other people in any way. Also, if you use photos/images of other people, make sure you have their permission to do so.

Campaign Tracking

Thanks for getting involved with the Bad Ways To Be Nice campaign. You can help us to track campaign related activity by filling out our Activity Tracking Survey.

Main point of contact

If you have any further questions or would like advice or consultation on anything related to the Bad Ways To Be Nice campaign please feel free to contact

Additional resources

For more information on quitting visit or call 1-877-513-5333

For more information on how to reduce the number of youth who use tobacco products and access to tobacco from all sources visit the Not to Kids coalition website at

Click here for sample activity sheet

Click here to download the toolkit