Young adult smoking rates:
According to the results of the 2012 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS):
• 20% of Canadians aged 20-24 are smokers, compared with the national average of 16%
• 13% of young adults aged 20-24 reported that they smoke daily and consumed an average of 12.7 cigarettes per day.
Why target young smokers aged 20-24?
Quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of a tobacco-related death by as much as 90%.
In addition, many young smokers have expressed a desire to quit. According to CTUMS 2012, 28% of current young adult smokers are considering quitting in the next 30 days; and 62% in the next six months. Based on these figures, a good opportunity exists for Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) to work together to encourage young adults to quit smoking and remain smoke-free.
Why use social media?
Research shows that quitting smoking is contagious. People are much more likely to stop smoking and stay smoke-free if they belong to a group of like-minded individuals who are quitting or have already quit. Through using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, young Canadians can tap into a support network that can help them succeed. As well, young adults are online and are using social media anyway – so it is a good way to get them involved with the campaign.
What resources are available to help young smokers quit?
The Break It Off website links young smokers to a number of resources to help them quit. Some of the highlights include:
• The Break It Off mobile application to help smokers track their break-up progress and overcome cravings and triggers when they happen
• A Facebook Relationship Status feature that allows smokers to proudly announce their break-up with smoking to their network of friends encouraging positive feedback and support from others
• Access to a quit coach through the pan-Canadian Quitline at 1-866-366-3667.