National Non-Smoking Week


Grade 11 student

Christ The King Catholic Secondary

Georgetown, Ontario 


AS youth grow up in high school, they might notice a change in the social environment. This change will most likely become the one and only that describes your social status. Many believe that it is influenced by the group of friends that you stayed with before or you simply just don’t seem to “fit in” and need a group to accept you. Well from personal experience I will tell you right now that I have friends from various groups or social statuses as people might call it. I wouldn’t say I don’t fit in with others around my age at school but the point that I am attempting to bring across is that I like to have fun with a variety of friends that are not predetermined by one group status.

no smoking areaFor example, I don’t mind sitting with anyone but if I were to choose it would start with the outgoing kids, the nerds, the gifted kids, the “popular kids” and so on. On the concept of groups, I have recently stumbled upon the term of the group defined as stoners. These groups of kids are associated with the kinds of people that participate in any sort of interactions with the use of cannabis. It sometimes allows me to wonder that even though “weed” is illegal, there are kids all across Canada that know a person from whom or a place from where they could purchase this substance. It seems to be that these “stoners” seem to make the majority of those parties or “benders” and at these parties almost everyone is usually under age as well as illegally abusing drugs or alcohol consumption.

It’s sad to see that today’s youth are just so easily influenced by social media outlets to participate in social events like this where all you do is drink and smoke, which are probably the two worst combinations, and you can most likely expect lots of trouble from that. I find it extremely hard to take in that these “stoners” seem to take up on average a little bit just under half of the school, ranging from occasional to all the time smokers. But I can see that figure being right considering that most students that do participate in these kinds of activities already have something harsh going on in their lives or even that they are just bored.

Although National Non-Smoking Week does centralize itself around tobacco use, I feel that there are a lot more youth out there that require assistance in giving up marijuana than there are those who need help in dealing with tobacco abuse. From January 18 to 25 this awareness week will provide an insight into smoking issues and a collective effort to help young adults to stop smoking. Looking at the bright side, the government of Canada has made smoking less affordable, less accessible and less appealing, which has in turn helped the percent of Canadian youth that smoke between the ages of 15 and 17 to drop down to an amazing record low of 7 percent.

I want to influence these youth that think they don’t fit in to not worry because it’s not the end of the world. Even if you have at least someone to rely on during a tough time or rough day is enough. You don’t have to have at least 500 friends in real life.

Remember say yes to hugs and no to drugs!