This is the second article in a series of articles looking at the results from the Cancer Risk Assessment in Youth Survey (CRAYS) done by the University of Waterloo at George Elliot Secondary (GES) in Lake Country (full report available here). This month we are looking at their findings with respect to E-cigarettes and flavoured tobacco use among the youth in Lake Country.
In general, the jury is still out on e-cigarettes (also known as vaporizers, vapes, vape pens, hookah pens, etc.) While some argue it is a way to reduce harm, e-cigarettes may actually promote trying nicotine products in students or promote continuation of an addiction in adults. At George Elliot, 35% of students report having tried e-cigarettes (see chart below).
The growing popularity of these products is concerning because students commonly misconceive alternate forms of tobacco as not being as bad for them as cigarettes. Research shows that these alternative forms of tobacco may be worse than cigarettes in some cases.
The CRAYS report also found that of the students attending George Elliot Secondary, 52% of them had used a flavoured tobacco product in the last month (see chart below). This is significantly higher than the provincial average of 44% and slightly higher than the national average of 49%.
It is clear that flavoured tobacco products are becoming more popular among young people. As the CRAYS report explains, “Flavoured tobacco has greater appeal among students: they perceive them as less risky, and perceive the smoke as causing less irritation.” There is national concern that the availability of these flavoured tobacco products may stalling progress in decreasing tobacco initiation and use among Canadian youth.
The CRAYS survey further found that at George Elliot of the 26% of the students who have tried smoking a cigarette, 52% of those who have tried tobacco also tried a flavoured tobacco produce and 35% have tried smoking marijuana.
It is important that we make sure students in Lake Country are aware that all tobacco products (e.g., cigarillos, cigars, smokeless tobacco flavoured tobacco, etc.) have the same level of health risk. Youth also need to know that E-cigarettes also have risk and we do not yet know the full extent of these.
Help support the Lake Country Health Planning Society and you could win a trip anywhere WestJet flies!! LCHPS is selling raffle tickets for $10 each. Here are the details -
Prize: One return trip for two (2) people, to any scheduled WestJet destination. Includes all air travel fees, taxes and surcharges on WestJet flights. Valid for travel until October 15, 2017.
Draw Date: October 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Draw Location: Winfield Memorial Hall 10130 Bottom Wood Lake Road, Lake Country, BC
You can also go to our Donate page on-line to purchase tickets. Just indicate that the funds are for raffle tickets in the comment box and we will put you in the draw and email you your ticket numbers.
Note: Ticket purchasers must be 19 years of age or older. If a winning ticket bears a minor’s name, the prize will be lawfully delivered on behalf of the minor to the minor’s parent, legal guardian or trustee.
Tickets may be sold and purchased only in British Columbia. Chances are 1 in 2000 (total tickets for sale) to win the grand prize.
Last year, the University of Waterloo conducted a Cancer Risk Assessment in Youth Survey (CRAYS) at George Elliot Secondary (GES) in Lake Country. The Cancer Risk Assessment in Youth Survey, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, is a pan-Canadian survey of students in grades 9 to 12. The survey looked at 5 interconnected issues facing students that impact their well-being – mental health, bullying, tobacco use, nutrition, UV exposure and school connectedness.
As part of the Plan H Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grant (Stream One) that Lake Country Health Planning Society (LCHPS) recently received, the society will be reviewing these findings and looking for opportunities to take action on them. LCHPS is also conducting its own Youth Health Survey and will compile these results, along with other research such as that found in the CRAYS report, into a Community Health and Wellness plan.
The CRAYS report provides parents, schools and the community in general, with some very interesting and relevant information about the health and well-being of our youth. The survey was completed by 460 students at GES. It found that 38% of the students at GES do not eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, 34% have been bullied by another student in the last month and 72% had tried drinking alcohol (see chart below).
The survey also found that 26% of the students have tried smoking a cigarette, 52% of those who have tried tobacco also tried a flavoured tobacco product and 35% have tried smoking marijuana (see chart below).
Compared to the provincial and national findings, Lake Country students were pretty similar in their repsonses. Although our young people are not neccesarily any more at risk than those in other parts of the country, LCHPS thinks we can do better. With some targeted and effective strategies, LCHPS believes we can improve the health of the youth in our community. Over the next several weeks, LCHPS will be reviewing more of the findings from this survey and writing about it here.
The Lake Country Health Planning Society is conducting a Youth Community Health Survey. If you are between 12 - 24 years old and live in Lake Country please complete this short survey so your input can be counted!
You could win a gift certificate from Orachard Park for $150!!! Click on the link below to complete this quick survey. It will only take about 3 minutes and the information you provide will be used to help inform health, wellness and recreational decisions in Lake Country.