Mr. Speaker, every 11 minutes, a Canadian dies from tobacco use. Every ten minutes, two Canadian teenagers start smoking cigarettes, and if they continue, one of them will lose his or her life because of it. I made a decision to quit smoking 35 years ago and I am so happy I did.
Earlier this month I took part in the Break It Off campaign, a partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and Health Canada as part of National Non-Smoking Week. The team stopped at St. Lawrence College's Cornwall campus to encourage young Canadians to quit smoking. Over the years, these types of initiatives have contributed to reducing smoking rates from about 50% in the 1960s to about 16% today.
We are investing in this youth program because youth are the future. I hope that whatever their futures hold, it will not include smoking.