Each day, between 82,000 and 99,000 young people around the world start smoking. Sadly, approximately 19.5% of girls and young women have tried tobacco by the time they reach grades 6-9, and this percentage leaps to 48% for those in grades 10-12. Physical activity is a positive and viable alternative to tobacco, and has the potential to offer young women the immediate benefits that they may expect from tobacco use. The short- and long-term impacts of choosing sport and physical activity over tobacco use include improved fitness, strength, flexibility and bone density, increased positive self-esteem, improved academic performance, and an overall healthier outlook on life.

Sport and physical activity leaders can have a positive, life-changing influence on the health of girls and young women. It is important to encourage youth and teenage girls to consider the negative effects of smoking as either a prevention or cessation measure, and explain how active living is a healthy and positive alternative to tobacco use.

In honour of World No Tobacco Day, the Active & Free website has now been expanded to include new tobacco prevention and cessation tools and resources designed and tailored specifically for youth and teenage girls (ages 9-18). CAAWS invites you to explore and share the Active & Free resources with your colleagues, and encourage girls and young women to use the online information and tools to make positive and responsible decisions about physical activity, tobacco use, and their overall health and well-being.

"If you are a physical education teacher, recreational worker, parent, coach, or health promoter, this resource is specifically designed for you. Active & Free is a practical tool to support your work towards encouraging a healthy lifestyle for young women by keeping them physically active and tobacco-free… for life."




Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity
N202 - 801 King Edward Avenue
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
Phone: 613-562-5667
Fax: 613-562-5668