Youth groups are key to cutting smoking rates

Web stamping out cigarettes

​New Ash Scotland campaign will focus on organisations working with young people and families

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8th April 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

National anti-smoking charity Ash Scotland is targetting organisations working with young people and families to help it drastically reduce the number of smokers.

At the launch of its Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation it asked the organisations to pledge to review their views, policy and practice on smoking to help protect children from the harm caused by smoking and prevent them from ever starting.

With 21% of Scottish adults said to currently smoke it is hoped by targeting young people a smoke-free generation will be created by 2034 and the overall adult smoking rate will be reduced to 5% or less.

The charter is made up of six key principles. These include young children being protected from companies looking to recruit new smokers, every child being allowed to play, learn and socialise in tobacco free environments and all young smokers being offered help to quit

Ash Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “The charter for a tobacco-free generation is a way of driving forward Scotland’s compelling vision to free our children from the tobacco epidemic that has claimed so many lives and led to so much misery.

It’s important people realise tobacco use is primarily an addiction of childhood, with two-thirds of smokers saying they took up the habit when they were under-age

“It’s important people realise tobacco use is primarily an addiction of childhood, with two-thirds of smokers saying they took up the habit when they were under-age.

“The charter offers a strong framework for people to take forward their own aims for a generation free from tobacco, whether they are working in a local authority, the education sector, with children and young families or in other relevant fields.”

Among those supporting the charter is well-known sports broadcaster Archie Macpherson, who was diagnosed last year with cancer in his ureter (the tube between the kidney and bladder), believed to be caused by second-hand smoke exposure.

Archie, famous for his football commentary, has never smoked but had to have a healthy kidney removed along with the ureter to help him overcome his illness.

He said: “A tobacco-free generation – what a great goal for Scotland.

“I fell victim to the toxic effect of second-hand smoke, which required major surgery at great cost to the NHS.

“Being in smoke-filled press boxes and offices exposed me to passive smoking so I know first-hand how vital it is that we do all we can to ensure people of all ages are protected from this kind of risk in future.”

Charter founding signatories are Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Children in Scotland, Children 1st, Asthma UK Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Scottish Cot Death Trust and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.