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June 30
Tobacco control: A spotlight on prevention


Man smoking a cigarette

In early May, we launched the new Evidence to Guide Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario (2016) report, which provides a comprehensive assessment of 56 tobacco control interventions and highlights their impact on reducing tobacco use and associated burden in Ontario. The report is organized into four main chapters which align with the four pillars of tobacco control: industry, prevention, protection and cessation.

The Prevention chapter outlines 14 tobacco control interventions and their potential contribution for preventing people from starting to smoke. The chapter was written by a working group made up of tobacco prevention scientists and experts and led by Dr. Kelli-an Lawrance, an Associate Professor at Brock University, Health Sciences Department, and co-Director and Principal Investigator of Leave the Pack Behind

“The Prevention Chapter is unique because it goes beyond our conventional thinking about preventing tobacco use,” explains Dr. Lawrance. “I hope this chapter reinforces the message that we can move to a tobacco-free Ontario.”

Prevention is an important part of tobacco control. Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable because:

  • ​the transition period to young adulthood increases risk of starting to smoke 
  • once individuals start smoking, they are at greater risk of progressing to increased tobacco use 
  • new products (e.g., e-cigarettes) may increase tobacco use among youth and young adults

The Prevention chapter addresses both primary and secondary prevention and broadens the scope of the tobacco prevention dialogue. “The chapter not only focuses on children to include youth and young adults,” says Dr. Lawrance, “it also looks at the individual, their families, social networks, school or workplaces as well as the social structures in which they live.” 

Importance of the Prevention chapter

This chapter can be used to:

  • ​learn about factors that contribute to smoking uptake 
  • help prevent tobacco use by understanding why youth and young adults start to smoke 
  • extend conventional smoking prevention initiatives into different age groups 
  • understand how to use mass media campaigns in even more compelling ways 

More information on the report

To read the full report or view a recording of the webcast showcasing highlights from the report, please visit the Evidence to Guide Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario (2016) webpage. 

Check out our post on industry and stay tuned to our PHO in Action blog for more chapter spotlights.


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