Taking action on smoking and health
ASH Scotland today launches a “Children’s Charter” to highlight the goal of creating a tobacco-free generation in Scotland by 2034. Formally known as Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, it’s aimed at organisations working directly or indirectly with young people and families and puts the focus on Scotland’s ambition to achieve an adult smoking rate of 5% or less in 20 years’ time.Organisations are being asked to sign up to the Charter’s six principles (see below) and to pledge to review their views, policy and practice to help protect children from the harms caused by smoking, reducing the burden of tobacco on our communities.
Audio clips of ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy commenting on the subject of this news release are available here
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy (pictured above with Archie Macpherson and schoolchildren) said:“The Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is a way of driving forward Scotland’s compelling vision to free our children from the tobacco epidemic that has claimed so many lives and led to so much misery.“It’s important people realise tobacco use is primarily an addiction of childhood, with two-thirds of smokers saying they took up the habit when they were under-age.“The Charter principles set out the rights of children in relation to tobacco for the first time, to be protected from cynical tobacco marketing, from exposure to toxic second-hand smoke and from getting hooked into a lethal addiction as children. “The Charter offers a strong framework for people to take forward their own aims for a generation free from tobacco, whether they are working in a local authority, the education sector, with children and young families or in other relevant fields.” Among those supporting the Charter is well-known sports broadcaster Archie Macpherson, who was diagnosed last year with cancer in his ureter (the tube between the kidney and bladder), believed to be caused by second-hand smoke exposure. Archie had to have a healthy kidney removed along with the ureter to help him overcome his illness.Veteran football commentator Archie said: “A tobacco-free generation – what a great goal for Scotland!“As a grandfather and former teacher, I know the importance of putting the focus on the health and wellbeing of our young people and this Charter aims to ensure children born today grow up to live in a Scotland where smoking is out of fashion and hardly seen.“As a teenager, I witnessed many of my friends succumbing to the commercial inducements to smoke cigarettes. I never did. Although one has never touched my lips I fell victim to the toxic effect of second-hand smoke, which required major surgery at great cost to the NHS.“Being in smoke-filled press boxes and offices exposed me to passive smoking so I know first-hand how vital it is that we do all we can to ensure people of all ages are protected from this kind of risk in future.”The Charter has six key principles that encourage and enable discussion within organisations to examine how their own policy and practice can best contribute to the tobacco-free goal:1 every baby should be born free from the harmful effects of tobacco;2 children have a particular need for a smoke-free environment;3 all children should play, learn and socialise in places that are free from tobacco;4 every child has the right to effective education that equips them to make informed positive choices on tobacco and health;5 all young people should be protected from commercial interests which profit from recruiting new smokers;6 any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them to become tobacco-free.
Charter founding signatories are Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Children in Scotland, Children 1st, Asthma UK Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Scottish Cot Death Trust and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.