Quebec, Canada - turning immigrant kids into smokers..

February 25, 2010 - Quebec is turning immigrant children and teens into smokers, especially those who settle in disadvantaged inner-city neighbourhoods, a new study suggests. Most children who arrive in Canada from other countries do not smoke - what is known as the "healthy immigrant effect." However, almost one in three immigrant children end up smoking once they've lived here for 11 to 12 years, according to the study by researchers at the Université de Montréal and McGill University.

PAPER: Does the “Healthy Immigrant Effect” Extend to Smoking in Immigrant Children? Jennifer O'Loughlin, Ph.D., Katerina Maximova, M.A., Keely Fraser, M.Sc., Katherine Gray-Donald, Ph.D., Journal of Adolescent Health 46(3-March): 299-301, 2010, ABSTRACT: The “healthy immigrant effect” may apply to lifestyle-related behaviors in immigrant children. In a cross-sectional study of 1,959 children aged 9–12 years, the number of years lived in Canada was related to an increased risk of smoking among immigrant children. Interventions may be needed for immigrant children to prevent the adoption of unhealthy behaviors prevalent in their new host environments.

Contrary to popular perception, immigrant families who arrive here tend to be educated and healthy. They must pass a physical exam to be accepted into Canada and, as a general rule, most do not smoke. But soon after arriving in Canada, many immigrants move into poor neighbourhoods where smoking is more prevalent, O'Loughlin noted. Over time, the prevalence of smoking among immigrant children is equal to that of Quebec-born youth.

Université de Montréal and McGill University study follows a Statistics Canada survey two weeks ago, which reported that more teenagers in Quebec are turning to smoking. That survey found one in five teens age 15 to 19 lit up last year - an increase of three per cent from 2008. By comparison, the national smoking rate for that age group declined to 14 per cent from 15 per cent. (Quebec - survey finds more teenagers are smoking..)

Reference: Tobacco entices new kids on block Quebec study; Immigrant youths are often turned into smokers by AARON DERFEL, The Gazette, 2/23/2010.

Some Quebec related news briefs:
Quebec - survey finds more teenagers are smoking..;
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Canadian - McGill University - light smoking damages arteries, reducing bodies' ability to deal with physical stress.;
Canada Ontario/Quebec - make it illegal for minors to possess tobacco products..;
Quebec - intends to sue cigarette makers to recoup health costs..;
Congratulations to the Canadian Provinces of Quebec and Ontario for Eliminating the Display of Tobacco Signs and Tobacco Products in Retail Outlets.;
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