Links to further articles

Different perspectives on whether smoking should be banned:

The effects smoking has on your body, and your health in general:

Youth tobacco cessation collaborative, focusing on intervention programs to stop the use, disrtibution and harms of tobacco


Interview: Officer of Langley Detachment RCMP

Operations Officer of Langley Detachment RCMP

A: There is no safe way to smoke. Vapour cigarettes are now seen as an alternative but they still contain nicotine which is a highly addictive component that has a negative effect on the body.

Q: What are the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke?

A: Secondhand smoke has proven to have the same effects as regular smoke. Many municipalities have banned smoking in parks and recreation sites for this reason. B.C. has a law that prohibits smoking in a vehicle that has minors in it. The dangers are that people who are trying to avoid the dangers of smoking cannot do it if they are surrounded by smokers.

Q: Is smoking common in young people in Langley? How common?

A: Smoking is somewhat common in young people in Langley but there has been dramatic reduction in younger people who start smoking. This is due to the government campaigns that deter people from starting to smoke. Education in schools and in the media, studies showing the harm that it does and packaging that shows the effects of smoking.

Q: How does tobacco affect the economy?

A: Tobacco is one of the highly taxed items sold in Canada. This is done as a deterrence  but also a means to offset the high costs of medical conditions related to smoking. There are illegal producers and distributors of cigarettes who try to avoid paying taxes and the police spend time investigating these illegal activities. Smoking costs society a great deal and it outweighs the revenue generated.

Q: Besides Nicotine, what makes smoking cigarettes so addicting?

A: Smoking is habit-forming and is often done in social situations. Some people feel comfortable smoking in a group or with friends so there can be some peer pressure when you first start out.

Q: What government agents regulate the potency of nicotine?

A: No one regulates nicotine levels in regular cigarettes but the companies have to report to Health Canada.Health Canada regulates nicotine levels in E cigarettes. This is especially important in E cigarettes as the nicotine in not naturally occurring.

Interview: Smoker and Non-smoker

Non-smoking induvidual- 18 yr old female in Langley

Q: Have you ever wanted to pick-up smoking? Why, why not?

A: No, i don’t hang around the group at school that does, i have seen the effects and i dont like the smell of cigarette smoke.

Q: Why don’t you smoke?

A: I was never put in a situation where i had immediate access to them, i chose not to because i know it is wrong

Q: Do you dislike being around people who smoke?

A: I don’t mind it, obviously i don’t like the smell but i make sure i don’t look disgusted or judgemental.

Q: What is the difference between yourself and a smoker?

A: I see myself as healthier

Q: How many people do you know that smoke?

A: At least 10

Q: How many of these people are sick or have died from smoking (lung cancer, heart disease, stroke)

A: None are very ill or have died, but i do see the effects of smoking. I have seen someone get jumpy and aggrivated when they do not have a smoke on them.

Q:Do you think teens who smoke are more likely to commit crime?

A: I don’t think smoking causes crime in youth however the two seem to have a high correllation.

Smoker- 20 yr old male in Langley

Q: What motivated you to start smoking?

A: Peer pressure, at a party with friends when i was drinking

Q: Have you tried quitting? if so, how many times and what method did you use?

A: I have tried countless times, i tried nicotine gum and stopping cold turkey.

Q: Do you have any difficulties with smoking?

A: I hate how much money i spend on a pack of cigarettes. My girlfriend doesn’t like it either and I live with my parents and they don’t like the smell.

Q: How much money do you spend smoking in a month?

A: $200 roughly

Q:If you could go back in time, would you have chosen to never smoke?

A: Yes




Early education programs

Elementary schools and high schools have worked for the past 30 years mainly to rid the use of cigarettes in students and staff. To effectively prevent the use of tobacco in students they must create an “anti-smoking” environment. School based programs should be incorporated in schools which review the long term and short term effects of tobacco, health risks, resistance skills, refusial skills, peer pressure, negative social outcomes, and social norms.

Provide Program-specific training for teachers

Providing a set curriculum of tobacco effects and anti-smoking material and training teachers will greatly improve the success of ending or preventing tobacco use. Teachers should model, practice, influence and inform students with these programs.

Emotional Support

It is important to give support to someone who is in the process of quitting smoking. The first thing you should do is understand its hard. Smoking is not just a bad habit, it is a complicated, serious addiction. To show support listen, don’t lecture, ask questions, offer distractions, celebrate their successes, be patient and be positive.

Media Campaigns

Most often television ads have proven to be very effective in influencing young adults to say no to cigarettes. Advertisements that trigger negative feelings such as health risks, secondhand smoking, and death targets youth which sparks a conversation.

Start a Campaign in the community

Form a group that accurately represents the community, educate young adults and kids, start a database of supporters and find a good sponser. Find a city council member or board of health supervisor to help sponsor your movement.

Law changes: Alcohol and Smoking

British Columbia banned smoking indoors in all public spaces and workplaces in March, 2008, within a 3m radius of any and all doors, windows, and air intakes. In British Columbia the federally defined age to legally be able to consume and purchase alcohol is 19 years of age. The legal smoking age in B.C. is 19, and anyone caught selling tobacco to minors could face fines up to $5000. Smoking is also legal on some patios and drivers cannot smoke with anyone in their car that is under 16 yrs of age. There has been enormous progress in B.C. in introducing new laws in attempt to clear the air of our environment.



Sociological Theories

Goddard/Hereditary Traits

It is no surprise that people who smoke cigarettes often have addictive personalities. If you have an addictive personality, your traits put you at risk of smoking (and other addictions). For example. if someone has an addictive personality and is addicted to smoking and they have kids, their kids are likely to acquire addictive personalities as well, thus, putting them at risk for addiction to smoking.

Strain Theories

Deviant behavior is a coping strategy in response to “strain” or stress, (assuming deviant behavior is smoking). Cultural differences, living conditions, unemployment, all generate strain, conflict and cultural dissonance.This aids in high smoking rates.

Social Control Theory

Social Control Theory is a theory that people do not become criminal because they do not want to jeopardize their bonds to conventional society. Social Control Theorists focus on “Why don’t we all smoke?” rather than “Why do they do it?”. This perspective focuses on the fact that we would but many of us don’t because we have loved ones we fear to hurt and possessions and social reputations we fear to lose.

Symbolic Interaction Theory

This theory analyzes society by adressing the subjective meanings that people impose on objects. Society is thought to be socially constructed through uman interpretation. All objective medicl evidence points to the dangers of smoking but young people still smoke. Teenagers are well informed about the risks of tobacco, but they also think smoking is cool.So, the symblic meaning of smoking (looking cool, safe from being an outcast, projects positive image to peers) overrides the actual facts regarding smoking.

Labelling Theory

Police, court officials, experts, and school authorities provide the main source of labelling. Dominant groups in society create and apply deviant labels to the “subordinate” groups. So, a teenager who smokes in affluent neighbourhoods may be regarded by parents, teachers and police as “growing up”. Controversially, in poor areas these same activities might be seen as tendencies towards juvenile delinquency. The problem with labelling is that once someone has been labelled deviant it is difficult to remove that label. The person is likely to be considered and treated as untrustworthy. The induvidual is then likely to accept the label thats has ben given to them and act in a way hat fulfills the expectation.

Social Learning Theory

This is a theory to explain socialization and its effects of the development of “self”. This focuses on formation of self, induviduals learning processes and the influence of society in socializing induviduals. An induviduals identity is the result of modelleing themself in response to the expectations of others. Behaviors and atitudes develop in response to reinforcement and encouragement from the people around us. A smoker may model their smoking habit off of the expectation of the people around them





Smoking has found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and diminishes a persons overall health. Being the leading cause of cancer an death of cancer, smoking has become a sweeping issue in British Columbia.

Smoking causes cancer of the lung, stroke, aortic anuerysm, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, and worsens asthma.

People who smoke have higher risks of developing pneumonia, tubercolosis, inflammation and impairs immune function.

For women, smoking makes it harder for a woman to become pregnant, and they have a higher risk of aqcuiring a miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.

Smoking also can cause heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascualr disease, to name a few.


 A present and current issue in Langley, British Columbia is smoking in teens and young adults. Most people start smoking in their teens and are addicted by the time they reach adulthood. To help answer the question, “why do people smoke?” here are a few of the main reasons.

Family attitudes

Siblings, parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles may influence. The same sex parent is also the most influential role model to their child, increasing chances of addiction even more.The risk that a person starts smoking is often higher if one or both parents smoke.

Peer Pressure

Mainly high school students influence their peers to try their first cigarette. Young people who play sports are also less likely to smoke. Parties, parks, shopping areas and after school activities or simply abundance of free time all seem to be an environment where kids begin smoking.

Fitting in/ Pop Culture

Social influences, movies, television, advertisements, models, and other forms of media shape young adults views of what is cool, attractive, or grown up. Some people start smoking to embody what s the trend or immitate their heroes.

Personality Traits

Many people who are addicted to smoking have addictive personalities. Specifically, unconventionality, risk-taking, thrill-seeking, and rebelliousness.

Poor Personal skills/social skills

People who are less socially competent, participate in antisocial activites, have low self esteem, are disengaged from school will be more likely to smoke than engaged and confident.

For weight loss

Smokers often worry about their weight, and ironically, smoke to be thinner.


Cigarettes are highly available to young people. The more smokers there are who smoke around children, the more children have an opportunity to handle cigarettes. There is a theory that people start smoking simply because they are around and people have easy access to them.

Using other drugs

People who already smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs are more likely to smoke cigarettes than those who do not.

Stress Relief

People smoke because they believe tobacco helps them cope with personal problems or boredom..