Taking action on smoking and health
Organisations signing the Charter are asked to pledge actions towards the 2034 tobacco-free goal.
Charter commitments are unique and based on an organisation's capacity for action, sector, area of expertise and the needs of the communities they work with. You can pledge your support online today.
Below you will find information about each of the Charter principles and examples of how Charter supporters are helping work towards a tobacco-free generation. For more Charter news see the Charter Highlights page.
Something to share?
Do you have piece of work that supports one (or more) of the Charter principles? Please let us know about it, we can provide recognition for your organisation through these webpages and our Charter Awards.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 225 4425 and ask for the Charter Coordinator.
Smoking affects the fertility of both men and women and can increase the risk of birth defects, pre-term delivery, stillbirth and low birth weight. To ensure that healthy babies are born into a safe environment, parents can be supported to quit and encouraged to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke before and during pregnancy. Even smoking earlier in life or having parents and grandparents who have smoked may affect both the short and long term health of a baby. We need to break the cycle of the generational harms caused by tobacco.
Family, friends, employers and maternity services can protect babies from the effects of tobacco by not smoking around pregnant women, promoting smoke-free cars, homes and work environments and providing smoke-free guidance and standards as a part of routine healthcare.
Young children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke because they breathe faster, their lungs are still developing and they can’t move away from smoky environments. They may also absorb smoke residue sticking to the toys and fabrics they put in their mouths.
To protect children and young people from second-hand smoke, parents and carers can make their homes and cars smoke-free and ask others not to smoke when there are children around. Family support services and nurseries can be advocates for smoke-free homes and ensure that their facilities and grounds are smoke-free to help provide a healthy environment for young children.
The environment in which children grow up, smoke-free or not, strongly influences whether or not they are likely to become smokers when they are older.
Environments like playgrounds, schools and homes that are smoke-free and free from second-hand smoke encourage a tobacco-free culture for children to grow up in, making it less likely that they themselves will become smokers when they grow up.
The Clean Air Campus approach taken by Dundee & Angus College aimed to reclaim outdoor space for everyone’s use; free from cigarette smoke. They took practical steps across campus to bring about positive changes. Read more about that process here.
Providing young people with knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco will help them to make healthy choices regarding tobacco use.
Everybody can advocate for a smoke-free generation by acting as positive role models and speaking with children about the harms caused by tobacco. In a co-ordinated effort with the community, schools and youth work organisations can provide evidence-based activities on tobacco to promote a healthy approach to tobacco issues. With this information, children can be confident advocates for smoke-free choices
Tobacco manufacturers are part of a multi-billion pound industry which uses its influence to deliberately block efforts to regulate or restrict the supply and promotion of tobacco. In an effort to prevent big companies from influencing young people through subtle marketing, controls on tobacco packaging and enforcement of age related sales regulations have been put in place, but more can be done.
Two-thirds of smokers begin to smoke before they are legally allowed to buy tobacco at age eighteen. For those young people who start smoking at an early age, stop smoking support specially designed for them should be offered in order to help them quit. Support in their own community can make it more likely that a young person will stop smoking.
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.