Taking action on smoking and health
In advance of No Smoking Day on 14 March, ASH Scotland is highlighting the support available to young people to help them stop smoking. This year’s No Smoking Day is encouraging people to use the #TellUsYourWay hashtag to share how they gave up smoking and thus encourage smokers young and old to think about different ways of quitting smoking.
According to the latest statistics, more than 1,000 13 year olds in Scotland are regular smokers. More than two thirds of older smokers say they want to quit, while 90% wish they’d never started.
One young smoker, who started when she was just 14, highlighted the need for different ways to quit. In a video interview Amanda, now 16, talked about her journey to quitting:
“I think I started smoking because all my friends started smoking. I was roughly about 13, 14, so in high school everybody thought it was cool.”
“I’ve noticed a big difference in my breathing, I’m not breathing as well as what I used to be able to, and also I can’t exercise as well as I used to. Used to be able to run a mile and a half in ten minutes, now it takes me ten days.
“My previous quit attempts, obviously they’ve been unsuccessful, so I’m going to try a different method.”
Amanda is now involved with the LANDED Peer Education project in Lanarkshire and with their support has gone on to try quitting one more time. There are many different techniques for quitting, and what works for one person might not for another.
The move is supported by Ian McLaughlan, the Chief Executive of Youth Scotland, who is a designated champion of Principle 6 of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation: “any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them to become tobacco-free.”
Ian McLaughlan said:
“Everyone knows smoking is addictive, but it’s one thing to say that and another to see a young person, someone with their whole life ahead of them, really struggling to kick the habit.
“I’m backing ASH Scotland’s campaign to make sure the best help is available so that young people who start smoking can quit before it does them irrevocable harm. With No Smoking Day coming up on 14 March, this is the perfect time to remind people that support is out there. You can phone Quit Your Way Scotland on 0800 84 84 84 or chat online with an adviser.
“There are lots of ways to quit smoking, so try a few and see what works best for you – it might be nicotine gum or patches, medication like champix, or an e-cigarette. Whatever you choose, it’s always worth checking in with NHS stop smoking services. They can give you the best advice, scientifically proven to help you quit.”
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, commented:
“Stopping smoking isn’t always easy, but the good news is that there’s more free support available than ever. You can pop into a pharmacy for local, expert advice, or call Quit Your Way Scotland seven days a week for proven help to quit.
“Use our hashtag #TellUsYourWay to post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and make a statement about how you quit smoking. We want to hear your stories and pictures of how you quit – we’re looking to share your experiences and encourage others to quit their way.”
See Amanda’s interview, as well as a discussion with Ian McLaughlan about his support for Principle 6 of the charter, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1IvQ3VMV9A&feature=youtu.be
The link to the No Smoking Day 2018 resources is: http://bit.ly/2HugSK4
For further information please contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Out of hours mobile 07776 142 299
Notes for Editors
Statistics on 13- and 15-year-olds’ smoking rates are from the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) 2015, available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Research/by-topic/health-community-care/social-research/SALSUS
The full video, including interviews with both Ian McLaughlan and Amanda of LANDED in Wishaw, is available on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1IvQ3VMV9A&feature=youtu.be. If you would like to embed the video on your own platform, please contact us and we will be happy to provide it.
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/
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is an independent Scottish charity working in partnership to protect people from the harm caused by tobacco. Registered Scottish charity number SC 010412.
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.