Talk to your kids

About the risk of tobacco

You already know it's important to inform your child of the health dangers of smoking. Tobacco is considered an addictive substance and use increases risk of certain cancers. Despite the fact that many parents do an excellent job of warning their children of these dangers, 1 in 10 children under the age of 17 are smokers.

So, what do you need to know?

According to the Smoke Free Ontario Act no person shall sell or supply any tobacco product to a person who is less than 19 years old.

Tobacco products include:



Chewing tobacco


It is important to educate your child about the consequences of breaking this law. It is illegal for any person to possess illegal tobacco. Under the Ontario Tobacco Tax Act, people possessing illegal tobacco face charges up to $10,000 plus three times the tax, could have their vehicle impounded and could get a jail sentence up to two years.

Contraband cigarettes are illegally produced. Despite their low price, the cost of purchasing these products is tremendous. The profits generated from contraband tobacco may fuel criminal activity, including trafficking of drugs, purchasing illegal weapons and funding other illicit activities. The availability of contraband tobacco undermines the government's efforts in reducing smoking rates and protecting children and youth from the dangers of smoking.

No matter what kind of tobacco your child is exposed to, the consequences of breaking the law are not worth the risk.