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Program helps students 'Quit 4 Life'

A smoking cessation program introduced in two Quesnel schools is helping youth kick butt. Quit 4 Life, a 12-week program affiliated with Health Canada, addresses the issue of smoking in teens and works to help them quit.

A smoking cessation program introduced in two Quesnel schools is helping youth kick butt.

Quit 4 Life, a 12-week program affiliated with Health Canada, addresses the issue of smoking in teens and works to help them quit. It's been at Quesnel Junior Secondary and Correlieu Seconday for two years.

Denys Smith, tobacco reduction co-ordinator for Northern Health brought Quit 4 Life to the schools and soon both vice principals took the reigns.

Participation was voluntary and students from all grades took part.

The latest installment of Quit 4 Life at QJSS involved 12 students, four of which "almost totally quit," said vice principal Ron Krickan. Previous installments of the program yielded similar results.

Correlieu VP Patty Kimpton said Quit 4 Life is easy to use in the respect that every lesson is available on the Quit 4 Life web site. There's a spot that allows students to have a private account so they can keep track of goals. "Everything you need is there."

Eight out of 21 students were successful in quitting.

At meetings, students sat in a circle and discussed issues like their goals and how they were doing that week. Sharing a similar goal of quitting made the students feel safe and comfortable in the group.

The great thing about the Quit 4 Life model is that it's strong and transferrable. "This is a model that we can take anywhere," said Smith.

According to the 2008 Tobacco Attitudes and Behaviours survey released by the provincial government, the smoking rate among youth aged 15 to 19 years is 14 per cent, or 300,000. Male youth reported consuming an average of 11.6 cigarettes per day and females consumed an average of 10 per day.

See more in The Citizen.

smakowsky@pgcitizen.ca