Taking action on smoking and health
Joe FitzPatrick MSP, the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing has joined young people from Action for Children’s Edinburgh Local Employment service to launch the new #befree campaign.
The campaign explores three key messages to help young adults (aged 16-24) identify with being fitter, happier and better off by being smoke-free.
After speaking to groups of people aged 16-24, the age group most at risk of starting smoking, campaigners listened to young people’s aspirations for the next 12 months such as passing exams, getting a job, saving for their driver’s license, buying a car, being a good parent and going to college. By choosing to be smoke-free, young people can achieve more.
The campaign has been developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, with Scottish Government funding and strong support from Action for Children and young people involved in their Edinburgh Local Employment service. A new campaign website – www.befree.scot hosts a range of free campaign materials for use locally by colleges, universities, employability providers, community groups and other people working with young people.
Supporting the launch of the campaign, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:
“Scotland is one of the first nations in the world to have set a target to raise a tobacco-free generation. One way we can all help deliver this is to fight the influence of tobacco over our young people.
“The recent five-year action plan we published, Raising Scotland’s Tobacco-free Generation, commits to work around preventing young people from taking up smoking, and I’m delighted to support the new #befree campaign which young people helped to develop. By raising awareness of how being smoke-free helps them be fitter, happier and better off, Scotland’s young people will be empowered to achieve more.”
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said:
“Today, it is young people aged 16-24 who are most at risk of taking up smoking. The places young people spend most of their time, whether that be university, college, training or work, can influence the decisions they make. The #befree campaign will help young people to identify with the immediate benefits of not smoking as they navigate this important transition in their lives.
“I’d like to thank the young people who shared their aspirations and goals with us, and helped us understand the benefits to them of being and staying smoke-free. As Scotland builds towards a tobacco-free generation, the #befree campaign can inspire young people to achieve more by being fitter, happier and better-off through being and staying smoke-free.”
Nicola Raine, Practice Team Leader for Action for Children at Edinburgh Local Employment, said:
“ASH Scotland’s #befree campaign is a very important one in the drive to raise awareness amongst young people of the effects of smoking, not just on their health but also on their finances. The young people we support in Edinburgh, who played a part in the research behind this campaign, were proud to share their experiences.”
Local organisations around Scotland have already placed orders for of campaign posters that will soon begin to appear in venues across Scotland. Other plans underway to promote the campaign messages includes promotion on social media and through the employability sector.
Photographs from the launch can be downloaded in high resolution and web-optimised resolution at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rwk5fs0b9oys56t/AAAkQ4z3yjoj7F4FnDxZhWq2a?dl=0
For further information contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org Out of office hours – 07776 142 299
A range of visual materials is available free to download from www.befree.scot
Notes to Editors:
ASH Scotland is the national charity taking action to reduce the harm and inequality caused by smoking. It seeks to improve health and quality of life by helping to create a society which supports young people in remaining tobacco-free, helps those who want to stop smoking, protects people from second-hand smoke and challenges the inequalities resulting from tobacco use. See www.ashscotland.org.uk or @ashscotland on Twitter.
Action for Children Scotland works directly with more than 20,000 children, young people, parents and carers each year. With 75 services in Scotland, we are in communities where you live and work. We help transform the lives of thousands of children and young people each year and we’ve been doing so for 60 years. Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @actn4ChildrScot.
Edinburgh Local Employment provides training programmes and intensive 1:1 support with a focus on employability to young people aged 16-24 who reside in Edinburgh and East Lothian. It delivers services from stages 1-4 of the employability pipeline. It aims to help young people explore their abilities. Their employability services show them the possibilities and potential they have. See https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/in-your-area/services/youth-employment-support/edinburgh-local-employment/
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.