Although the numbers of people smoking is at its lowest level since records began, approximately 1 in 5 adults continue to smoke in England and approximately 96,000 people die each year as a direct result of smoking.
Most smokers want to quit but find it difficult due to the heavily addictive nature of nicotine. The majority of adult smokers start smoking as children making it a childhood decision that becomes an adult addiction. Smokers who start before the age of 16 are twice as likely to continue smoking in later life and are also more likely to be heavier smokers. Preventing children from starting smoking is key to reducing the long term harm caused by smoking in our society.
So what can we do?
Reducing youth uptake of smoking requires us to change the adult world in which children grow up in. Parental smoking along with other significant adults smoking has a major influence on whether a young person starts smoking. Children who grow up in a home where one parent smokes are 60% more likely to start smoking themselves, if both parents smoke this risk is even greater. Protecting at risk children requires a package of interventions that should be delivered synergistically.
- Promoting robust whole school smoke-free policies that reduce children’s exposure to smoking by adults.
- Encouraging parents to quit through supportive approaches and publicising the school smoke-free policy.
Resources for young people
Live Well Stay Well
Live Well Stay Well offers advice and support to quit smoking. Although the service is not a specialist youth service it can support young people over the age of 12 years who are motivated to quit. Call 01628 857311 or visit livewellstaywellbucks for more information.
ASH is a campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. There are a range of resources and information that can be downloaded. For information on how to quit please visit Smokefree NHS.
Multi language support
Need help in other languages? A free Stop Smoking Service that can provide culturally sensitive support in a variety of languages such as Urdu and Polish is available in Bucks. Solutions4Health can be contacted on 0800 634 9139
Health and wellbeing Bucks
For more information about health and wellbeing in Bucks please visit Health and wellbeing Bucks
Resources for schools
KS3 & 4
Smoking lesson plan pack - Explore with your class the reasons why young people should choose not to smoke and how to resist peer pressure