Taking action on smoking and health
36 children are lured into smoking every day and existing educational approaches just aren’t enough, warned Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock today.
While childhood smoking has been declining over time, recent estimates still show that many young people take up the habit, particularly in the most deprived parts of Scotland. That can lead to inequality in health and wealth following children for the rest of their lives.
Ms Brock was speaking as she made her first comments as a Champion of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation. To help break the cycle of inequality, Ms Brock will lead campaigning on Charter Principle 4: “every child has the right to effective education that equips them to make informed positive choices on tobacco and health”.
Jackie Brock said:
“In Scotland in 2018 a classroom full of children gets hooked on smoking every single day. It’s shocking to me that we accept that a choice made by someone as young as 13 or 14 to smoke just one or two cigarettes can lead to decades of addiction, expense and ill-health.
“The majority of adult smokers started before they were 18, and almost nobody starts smoking after 25. If we educate young people and help them stay off cigarettes, we can solve this problem for good.
“We need to do more if we want to help children stay smoke-free. There are many great initiatives underway across Scotland in which young people play an active part in supporting their peers to stay away from tobacco. The educational materials ASH Scotland are producing are a great step forward, and I think every school and community group could make use of them.”
The Charter has been produced by health charity ASH Scotland, and has now been signed by over 180 organisations, each pledging to do what they can to help bring about a tobacco-free generation. Children in Scotland was a founding partner when the Charter was first launched in 2015.
ASH Scotland’s Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said:
“We’ve got a responsibility to the next generation to take meaningful action against smoking. There are parts of Scotland where life expectancy is almost twenty years less than the national average, and a big part of that is down to tobacco. We can’t let this cycle continue.
“Everyone wants to see cigarettes out of fashion for the next generation. The resources that are available through the charter are a great way for schools and community groups to play their part in achieving that goal.
“Jackie Brock is an incredible advocate for children and young people, and we’re so glad that she and Children in Scotland will be playing this leading role in helping to create a tobacco-free generation.”
See Jackie Brock interviewed by ASH Scotland about her support for Principle 4 of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation (every child has the right to effective education that equips them to make informed positive choices on tobacco and health) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CisT0ksvDVs&t=
For further information please contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Out of hours mobile 07776 142 299
Sheila Duffy will be available for interview or comment from: 09.00 – 13.00 Wednesday 7 February and 12.30 – 17.00 on Thursday 8 February.
Notes for Editors
The Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is an initiative by health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Scotland to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034 (by this we mean less than 5% of the population still smokes). The Charter inspires organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in their communities.
Further information can be found at www.ashscotland.org.uk/charter.
Charter resources on working with young people are available at /what-we-do/children-young-people-and-tobacco/tobacco-free-generation-web-page/
Charter resources on tobacco-free schools are available at /what-we-do/children-young-people-and-tobacco/tobacco-free-schools/
ASH Scotland Fast Fact Sheet Young People & Tobacco: http://www.ashscotland.org.uk/media/5862/5youngpeople.pdf
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.