NEWS
01/19/2016 13:25 EST | Updated 01/19/2017 00:12 EST

Quebec group aims to end youth smoking by 2025

Quebec's Youth Coalition Against Smoking has an ambitious goal: to completely stamp out smoking among the province's adolescents within the next decade.

The Youth Coalition Against Smoking — made up of ten youth representatives known as La gang allumée — said Tuesday it's asking all schools in the province to develop a firm policy against smoking that extends beyond just banning it on the premises.

Smoking on the properties of Quebec high schools, primary schools and nurseries has been banned since 2006. 

"There are a number of factors that influence kids to smoke," said coalition spokesperson Sophie-Rose Desgagné.

"Banning smoking on campuses isn't the only thing that will stop youth."

The group will provide a number of resources on its website to help schools promote an anti-smoking lifestyle, Desgagné said.  

Smoking rates decreasing

According to Quebec's statistics bureau, the rate of smoking among high schools students has continued to decrease since 1998.

Coalition spokesperson Samuel Nolet says they looked at how much it decreased in just five years to come up with their ambitious target for 2025.

In 2008, 22.3 per cent of high school students used tobacco. By 2013, that number was down to 12.2 per cent.

"If the number went down 10 per cent in just five years, why not get it down 12 per cent in ten years?" Nolet said.