The Eskasoni YACHT Initiative was set up to inform youth on the
dangers of smoking as well as to explore the reasons why the youth
in the community start smoking. It was the goal of the program to
develop a youth campaign against smoking, by the youth for the youth.
The First Nations’ and Inuit Regional Health Survey released
in January 1999 reveals that an alarming 62% of First Nations’
smoke tobacco compared to 31% among other Canadians. Smoking among
First Nations’ youths start as early as 6 to 8 years and rapidly
increases at age 11 to 12 years old, finally peaking at age 16.
At the release of the report the smoking rates were up 72% for First
Nations’ youth between the ages of 20 to 24 years old.