Taking action on smoking and health
Principle 6: Any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them to become tobacco-free.
Ian McLaughlan is Chief Executive of Youth Scotland, the country's largest national voluntary youth work organisation for 8-18 year olds. He has a wealth of experience in both paid and voluntary positions in working with young people, previously as Chief Executive of the Scottish Pre-School Play Association and Director for Scotland in the Boys' Brigade UK.
Ian feels strongly that just as you are never to old to quit smoking, you are never too young to be given help and support and that young people need access to specially designed support to help them stop smoking and remain tobacco-free.
"Youth workers, in their position as trusted and positive role models, have a vital role to play in supporting and encouraging young people to make healthy and informed choices and decisions on smoking and tobacco."
Reducing the adult smoking rate is an effective way of creating an environment in which fewer young people take up smoking. Achieving a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034 is also about helping smokers who want to stop. Smoking is presented as a free adult choice, but is more commonly an unwilling addiction begun in childhood, with huge implications for people’s health, finances and relationships.
Stopping smoking is the single most important step someone can take to improve their health, not to mention the average cost to a smoker in Scotland is £1600 a year.
Two thirds of smokers say they want to quit, and support in their own community can really boost their chance of success.
Ian talks about how community based youth work plays a vital role in nurturing and supporting young people as they make the transition into adulthood. Never too young to 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.