News Release - May 9, 2009
SASKATCHEWAN STUDENTS CHOOSE TO GRADUATE TOBACCO-FREE
More Saskatchewan students are graduating tobacco-free in 2009
Last fall Saskatchewan Health challenged Saskatchewan students to graduate tobacco free. Eleven schools took up the challenge with 102 students graduating Grade 12 tobacco-free.
"Non-smoking youth are more likely to become non-smoking adults, improving their health and the health of those around them," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "Saskatchewan youth are making a commitment to themselves and I congratulate each of them for choosing a healthy lifestyle."
The challenge began with a single school choosing to graduate tobacco-free in 2005. Since then a total of 610 students have graduated tobacco-free.
This year's participating schools will receive a letter of congratulations from Minister McMorris and Education Minister Ken Krawetz with participating students receiving a certificate and gift.
"Life-long healthy habits are established early in life, and schools play a significant role in promoting health and disease prevention," Krawetz said. "I commend the participating schools for being committed to the well-being of their students and communities, and I congratulate the students for reaching this important milestone."
Smoking is the leading cause of disease and premature death in Canada. The Graduate Tobacco-Free initiative is one of this year's programs in the government's ongoing effort to denormalize and reduce tobacco use in Saskatchewan, particularly among young people. This includes smoke-free public places and banning the display of tobacco products and promotion in retail establishments.
"Our government is now engaged in putting together a comprehensive tobacco control strategy," McMorris said. "I look forward to sharing details of that strategy in the months to come."
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