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Health Unit Profiles
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» Group A - Population Health
   Indicators
 –  Teen Pregnancy
 –  Low Birth Weight
 –  Breastfeeding Duration
 –  Postpartum Contact
 –  Smoking Prevalence
 –  Youth Lifetime Smoking
     Abstinence
 –  Adult Heavy Drinking
 –  Youth Heavy Drinking
 –  Physical Activity Index
 –  Healthy Body Mass Index
 –  Fruit and Vegetable
     Consumption
 –  Fall-Related Hospitalizations
     Among Seniors
 –  Enteric Illnesses Incidence
 –  Respiratory Infection
     Outbreaks in Long-Term
     Care Homes
 –  Chlamydia Incidence
 –  Immunization Coverage of
     Hepatitis B
 –  Immunization Coverage of
     Measles, Mumps and Rubella
 –  Adverse Water Quality
     Incidents
» Group B - Governance and
   Accountability Indicators
Case Studies
Supporting Documents
Initial Report on Public Health
Youth Lifetime Smoking Abstinence
Narrative

The youth lifetime smoking abstinence indicator estimates the proportion of young people age 12-19 years who have never smoked a whole cigarette.

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of premature death and illness in Ontario. Smoking accounts for approximately 13,000 deaths annually and results in a substantial burden on the health care system. 46

Preventing children and youth from starting to use tobacco products is a key pillar of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy (SFOS). Research has shown that more than 80% of current and former smokers in Canada started smoking before the age of 20. 48 Thus, preventing adolescents from experimenting with tobacco products during adolescence is a key intervention to prevent them from smoking as adults - and to prevent morbidity and mortality from chronic disease.

Youth tobacco use is associated with a variety of personal, behavioural, environmental, and socio-demographic factors, including:

  • lower self esteem 49
  • lower academic achievement 50
  • lower socio-economic status 51
  • peer and parental smoking 48
  • use of alcohol, and marijuana 50

The goal of public health policies, programs and services is to reduce the burden of preventable chronic diseases of public health importance. Public health units are responsible for:

  • increasing public awareness of the importance of comprehensive tobacco control
  • working with youth to adopt tobacco-free living
  • working with schools to educate students about the dangers of smoking
  • ensuring tobacco vendors are in compliance with the SFOA
  • reducing youth access to tobacco products

In 2007, 81% of youth age 12-19 years in Ontario had never smoked a whole cigarette. Based on 36 public health units in Ontario, the highest proportion was 92% and the lowest was 48% of youth age 12-19 years who have never smoked a whole cigarette.

Indicator Definition

Definition:

The youth lifetime smoking abstinence indicator estimates the proportion of young people age 12-19 years who have never smoked a whole cigarette.

Data Source(s):

Numerator: Canadian Community Health Survey 2007, Statistics Canada, Ontario Share File distributed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Denominator: Canadian Community Health Survey 2007, Statistics Canada, Ontario Share File distributed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Formula:

Weighted number of respondents age 12-19 years who have never smoked at least one whole cigarette

Weighted total number of respondents age 12-19 years
 
x 100

Notes:

  • Based on CCHS Question SMK_01B "Have you ever smoked a whole cigarette?"
  • Numerator: SMK_01=No (2)
  • Denominator: SMK_01= Yes (1), No (2) or Not Applicable (6)
  • Refusals (8) and Not Stated (9) responses were excluded

46 Ministry of Health Promotion. Smoke-free Ontario Strategy [Internet]. Retrieved August 7, 2009 from: http://intra.mhp.gov.on.ca/what_we_do/smoke_free_ontario/strategy.asp.
48 Health Canada. Youth smoking in Canada. CTUMS: Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey. Annual. 2000;Feb-Dec: 3. Retrieved April 17, 2009 from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
hc-ps/tobac-tabac/research-recherche/stat/_ctums-esutc_fs-if/2000-youth-eng.php
.
49 Kaufman AR, Augustson EM. Predictors of regular cigarette smoking among adolescent females: does body image matter? Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(8):1301-9.
50 Leatherdale ST, Hammond D, Ahmed R. Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use patterns among youth in Canada. Cancer Causes Control. 2008;19(4):361-9.
51 Shields, M. Youth smoking. Health Reports. 2005;16(3):53-57. Retrieved April 17, 2009 from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/82-003-x2004003-eng.pdf.

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