News Release Archive

A comprehensive and integrated program to teach children and
adolescents about the risks of tobacco use is being introduced to
teachers across the province this month.

The program is a supplement for use with the Nova Scotia
Department of Education and Culture's health curriculum in the
early years, and the personal development and relationships
curriculum for junior high. The program is divided into three
targeted sections - one for grades primary to three, one for
grades four to six and one for grades seven to nine.

Teachers attending professional development seminars this month
will be in-serviced by the Tobacco Control Unit of the Department
of Health. The program was developed by Drug Dependency in
partnership with the Department of Education and Culture,
curriculum specialists across the province, teachers and

The teachers will be encouraged to share the information with
their colleagues when they return to their home schools to help
ensure the maximum number of children can benefit from the

"From a very young age children should be encouraged to
appreciate clean air, good health and the strength and vitality
that comes with being a non-smoker," said Health Minister Ron
Stewart. "Smoking is the number one cause of preventable illness.
The program aims to help children and adolescents make
responsible choices by building greater awareness and
understanding with each school year."

The program includes ideas for classroom discussion, role-playing
and problem solving. In the early grades, the focus is on the
benefits of a healthy, active and smoke-free lifestyle. In the
later grades, particularly the transition years between
elementary and junior high schools, the emphasis shifts to give
the students the skills and information they need to make good
health decisions.

"Helping students to develop a healthy lifestyle is a priority in
Nova Scotia schools," said Education and Culture Minister John
MacEachern. "I am pleased that our two departments worked
together to develop curriculum that will help students to make
responsible health decisions."

In Nova Scotia, research shows that girls try tobacco for the
first time at approximately 12 years of age. For boys, the age is
11 years. But statistics also show few people start smoking after
the age of 19. Also, if children and adolescents don't use
tobacco products during their school years, they will likely
remain smoke-free for life.


NOTE TO EDITORS: A sample of the materials is available by
contacting Lori MacLean.

Contact: Lori MacLean  902-424-5025

         Lisa Bugden   902-424-2795

trp                     May 23, 1996 - 1:05 p.m.