Although the number 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.

Download the latest guidance Public Health South-East Statement on E-Cigarettes

What can we do?

Reducing youth uptake of smoking requires us to change the adult world in which children grow up. 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 the Live Well Stay Well Buckinghamshire Website for more information.


ASH is a campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. There is a range of resources and information that can be downloaded, including information on e-cigarettes (vaping).

Multi-language support

Call 01628 857311 or visit Live Well Stay Well for more information and support regarding different languages.

Health and wellbeing Bucks

For more information about health and wellbeing in Bucks please visit Health and wellbeing Bucks

Curricula and training

Public Health England KS3 & 4

Explore with your class the reasons why young people should choose not to smoke and how to resist peer pressure by downloading the Smoking lesson plan pack

Cut Films Project

The Cut Films Organisation is an award-winning anti-tobacco youth charity working with young people, schools, youth groups, and in partnership with local authorities to persuade young people to not smoke. Entry to the competition is free and schools can promote the campaign at no cost. More tailored packages to support local schools are available and prices will vary.

Operation Smokestorm

Operation Smoke Storm is a brand-new style of learning resource which creates a lifesaving shift in young people’s attitudes towards smoking and the tobacco industry. Developed with Department of Health funding, Operation Smoke Storm has been shown to improve student attitudes and misconceptions held about smoking by as much as 39%, as well as increase awareness of key smoking issues by 77%!

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