Since 1977, the third week in January has been recognized as National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. Wednesday, January 23rd is Weedless Wednesday. Smokers are encouraged not to smoke on this day to kick-start the process of quitting smoking.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in Canada. Second-hand tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals ~ 50 of which cause cancer. Because most smokers start before the age of 18, Saskatchewan schools do not allow smoking on school property. Smoking in a vehicle with children under the age of 16 is against the law in Saskatchewan. It is also against the law to smoke within 3 metres of doors, windows and air intakes of all public buildings.
Babies and young children are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke. Attitudes and beliefs about tobacco form at an early age. Look for opportunities to let your child know about the harmful effects of tobacco:
- If your preschooler is washing their hands, you might say “There are lots of things we do to keep our bodies clean and healthy. But there are also things that are bad for us. Smoking cigarettes is one of these. It makes your breath smell bad and makes it hard to breathe.”
- If your child is interested in a sport such as ballet or hockey, show them how smoking may relate to their interest. “Hockey players don’t smoke because it will make it hard for them to breathe when they play”.
- Ask people to smoke outside and away from your children.