CancerCare Manitoba
News Item

March 22, 2007

National smoking survey aimed at uncovering youth awareness, habits

In partnership with other organizations across Canada, CancerCare Manitoba is coordinating the 2006-2007 Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) for researchers at the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation and the Population Health Research Group at the University of Waterloo on behalf of Health Canada.

"Nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals," said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "Smoking as few as 10 packs can get you hooked for life on a deadly habit."

In addition to studying smoking behaviour, the YSS looks at purchasing behaviour, smoking cessation, perceptions of peer smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. For students in grades 7 to 12, the survey will also collect information on alcohol and drug use. The data collected in the Survey will be used to assess the need for increased legislative controls on tobacco.

Students in Grades 5 through 12 from 26 schools in 14 divisions across the province will complete the questionnaire. Carly Leggett, the Youth Smoking Survey Coordinator with CancerCare Manitoba 's Epidemiology and Cancer Registry, has been working with the schools to obtain parental consent and permission.

The 30 - 40 minute survey will be completed in the classroom and is administered by the teacher. Project coordinators will be on site to answer any questions.

Each school receives a School Feedback Report that will provide school specific information about their school smoking rates, student attitudes and smoking influences.

The report will compare individual school smoking rates with provincial and national rates, to let the school see where they stand provincially and nationally.

"We are hoping the information will provide ideas for the schools and their students to put programs and policies in place based on their needs," said Leggett.

All individual student responses will be kept confidential.

Steve Manske, Principal Investigator
University of Waterloo
National Study Contact
519-888-4567, ext. 84518

For additional information about CancerCare Manitoba activities, please contact:

Roberta Koscielny, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
CancerCare Manitoba
Phone: (204) 787-4540 Toll-free: 1-877-407-2223

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