Giving cigarettes to teenagers may seem like the obvious answer is no, but according to recent research, adults aged 19 to 25 commonly give cigarettes to teens. Karen Taylor is a public health nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit and she’s promoting the Bad Ways to Be Nice campaign, which gives people tips on how to say no when teens ask for a cigarette. The Health Unit is one of six units who have partnered to develop the campaign which includes a website, video, social media posts and resources. You can see all of these by clicking here.

Taylor says while people may think they’re just being nice, giving teens a cigarette only helps them become addicted. She says some people may find it difficult to say no, so she offers some ways to do that:

  • Let underage teens knows that giving them cigarettes isn’t doing them any favours
  • Tell them you feel uncomfortable and don’t want to get in trouble
  • Let them see the package warning labels, to remind them of the health effects
  • Tell them about a negative personal experience related to smoking, if you have one
  • Remind them that quitting is hard.

To find out more about the campaign, visit the Bad Ways to be Nice website, or go to the HKPR website.