The following statement was issued today by Roger Grimes, Minister of Health and Community Services. It was also read in the House of Assembly:
Launch of "Kick the Nic" program and update on Teen Tobacco Team
Last Fall, my predecessor, Honourable Joan Marie Aylward, announced the formation of the Teen Tobacco Team. The team was set up to advise government on issues related to youth and tobacco, and in particular to help us reduce the amount of smoking among the young people in Newfoundland and Labrador. During National Non-Smoking Week in January, the team launched their first promotional campaign through a poster which has been distributed to schools around the province, and by assisting in the development of the Class of 2000 Smoking Prevention Program Scholarship.
The Teen Tobacco Team met for a second time this past weekend to discuss the provinceís legislation respecting tobacco and smoking; to provide input into a new web site which will be targeted primarily toward young people; and to offer suggestions for the comprehensive public education campaign to be launched by the Alliance for the Control of Tobacco later this year.
During their visit, the team also had a chance to review a smoking cessation program aimed specifically at teens. Today I am pleased to tell you that the team has endorsed the Kick the Nic 2000 program. Accordingly, today I am officially launching the Kick the Nic program in Newfoundland and Labrador as part of the provincial Youth Tobacco Strategy.
The program, developed in British Columbia, will be piloted in schools in Western and Central Newfoundland, and in St. Johnís this Spring. Eighteen health professionals from the six Health and Community Services regions were trained earlier this month, and are tasked with recruiting and training program facilitators to deliver the program to teens in communities throughout the province. Early next year, Kick the Nic will be implemented province-wide, once the pilots have been completed and evaluated.
Through the Kick the Nic program, the Teen Tobacco Team, and other initiatives, the provinceís Youth Tobacco Strategy hopes to send the message to our young people that smoking kills. I ask each Member of the House to take up the challenge of working with youth to educate them on the dangers of smoking.
2000 03 28 2:15 p.m.