Island Health CEO Dr. Brendan Carr

December 13, 2013, Victoria (ISN) – Tobacco use is one of the single largest threats to the health of individuals and communities across the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The best way to stop smoking is not to start and in order to drive home that message Island Health has teamed up with four of Vancouver Island’s Junior Hockey teams.

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The Victoria Cougars – Photo: Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

“Recent scientific advances into the workings of the teenage mind indicate that peer behaviour is one of the most powerful predictors of a teen’s choices and actions,” says Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Health Officer, Island Health. “These young hockey players are leaders both on and off the ice. By choosing to live a smoke-free lifestyle they are sending a compelling message to their peer group about smoking.”

The four teams participating include:

Victoria Cougars

Comox Valley Glacier Kings

Campbell River Storm

Nanaimo Buccaneers

Players, coaches and team personnel all receive tobacco prevention training and as part of their partnership with Island Health, each team must make a number of presentations on tobacco-free sports to elementary and middle school students in their region.