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Tobacco and kids

For the 10th year in a row, Saskatchewan has the highest youth smoking rate in Canada. 20% of 15- to 19-year-olds smoke compared to 11% nationally.

In order to help protect our kids from the dangers of tobacco, we have pulled together several resources that teachers can use to help raise awareness of this critical issue.

  • Smoking and your looks

    Smoking not only causes cancer, but it can also damage your appearance.

    To give young smokers and those thinking about smoking a glimpse into their future, the Canadian Cancer Society presents Reality Check – The Glamour of Tobacco, an educational program for middle and high school students.

    We hope to encourage young people to curb their smoking or – better yet – to never start, by showing students the premature wrinkling and unhealthy skin tone that cigarettes cause.

    How the program works
    Canadian Cancer Society staff or volunteers visit classrooms, photograph students and use APRIL software to show students what they will look like as they age if they smoke, compared to if they do not smoke. Students volunteer for the program.

    We enter the digital picture into a laptop computer, process the photo and print a copy for the student. 

    About APRIL®
    APRIL software is based on the results of a 5-year study of the faces of more than 10,000 people of different ages, ethnicities and lifestyle habits. The resulting images are based on the actual physical characteristics of aging and the effects of cigarette smoking.

    Images showing student aging due to smoking

    What students are saying
    "I learned a lot by this presentation. Cheryl (Cheryl Klippenstein, presenter) was a great help because she made me change my mind about smoking when I was older."

    "When I saw my friends' faces if they smoked for 50 years – I can't imagine what they look like in the inside, black and rotten. Gross."

    "Smoking sucks! I don't know why people think it is cool."

    "After what I saw today, I know I'm not going to smoke ever. I saw how people looked when they smoke and what’s going to happen to them."

    "Today we had a lesson on smoking and non-smoking and I would prefer non-smoking and I have a very good reason because they get wrinkles. The funny part was, when the person took pictures and aged them, I looked ugly."

    Cheryl Klippenstein, Consultant
    "I have spent 3 years working in the tobacco field and I have to say that the APRIL software is the most effective tool I have ever used. It gets the students thinking on a level they have never considered. It appeals to their vanity and gives them a very personal glimpse into their future.

    "I believe the APRIL software is a highly effective way to engage young people on the dangers of tobacco use. I asked teachers to also evaluate the presentation and most were positive. The presentation was rated out of 5 and most either gave it 4 or 5 marks."

    For more information about a free classroom presentation, contact:
    Donna Pasiechnik
    Tobacco Control Coordinator
    Canadian Cancer Society
    1910 McIntyre Street
    Regina, SK S4P 2R3
    Phone: 306-790-9871

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