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Tabagisme et vapotage



To better understand

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Québec. Available in several forms, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, shisha, etc., it can lead to organ damage and cause several different diseases. The nicotine found in tobacco creates a powerful physical and psychological addiction. Did you know that a teenager can show signs of addiction after just one smoking experience? Nicotine can also alter brain development in teens, affecting their memory and concentration. All very valid reasons to be concerned about smoking!


Adolescence is a critical period when it comes to experimenting with smoking. Most adult smokers will tell you they started smoking during their teen years. Hence the importance of preventing smoking in teenagers and of helping teenage smokers in their efforts to quit.

Smoking and teens in the Montérégie region

3 % of teens smoke cigarettes daily or occasionally.

• The proportion of smokers rises to 13,9% in teens enrolled in specific programs (vocational programs, special education programs, etc.).

3 % of teens have tried smoking for the first time before age 13 (smoking a full cigarette.).

1 in 10 teens smokes cigarillos (in the past month).

Want to learn more?

Check out our information sheets for more statistics, key facts, and solutions for families, schools, and communities.

To better support


  • Talk about your teen’s (or their friends’) tobacco use, its effects on their health, and its costs.
  • Stress how hard it is to quit smoking because of the nicotine addiction.


  • Express your disapproval if your teen starts smoking but do not overreact if they tell you they have tried it once.
  • Discuss and set clear rules about avoiding tobacco products.


  • Support the school in applying its policy on smoke-free environments.
  • Be aware of how your behaviour influences your teenagers’.
  • Take an interest in your teen’s activities, outings, and friends.
  • Help your teen in their efforts to quit smoking by contacting the school nurse or one of the Smoking cessation centres.

At home

  • Establish a smoke-free environment at home and in the car.

Tips and tricks

Your teen needs to be able to stand up for themselves! As a parent, you can help them do this by showing them some techniques for saying no:

  • Humour: “No, I’d rather do (something ridiculous) than smoke!’’
  • Polite refusal: “No thanks, I don’t smoke.”
  • Psychology: Return the question to the other person, without judgement: “Why do you smoke?”
  • Broken record: Always give the same answer: “No, thanks!”
  • Facts: “Did you know that a few cigarettes are all it takes to get addicted?”

In brief

  • Known to create a powerful addiction, nicotine also has harmful effects on brain development;
  • A teenager can show signs of addiction after just one smoking experience;
  • Adolescence is a critical period when it comes to experimenting with smoking.

Resources and practical tools

1. For support:

If you are concerned about a situation, do not hesitate to reach out to a support worker or a healthcare professional:

Community organizations: family centre, youth centre, etc.

Some community organizations offer support programs for parents of teenagers. Call your local organization for information.

School staff members

2. To learn more:

Also see our En mode ado section on vaping:

Latest updates : February 2020

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