#notafavour Campaign Aims to Reduce Youth Smoking
Anti-smoking organisation ASH Scotland have launched a campaign to help highlight to adults that buying young people cigarettes can start them on a path to addiction.
The #notafavour campaign hopes to ensure young people who are not legally able to buy cigarettes are not becoming addicted before they are of an age to make an informed choice.
The Scottish Government have attempted to reduce smoking in Scotland in recent years the problem is still a major issue in the country today.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland said: “The majority of smokers started as children and now say that they regret ever doing so.
“36 young people in Scotland take up smoking every day, and most of them get their cigarettes from friends, family and other people they know.
“Our campaign sets out that buying tobacco for young people is helping them into addiction, ill health and money worries. Giving tobacco to kids is not doing them a favour.”
Duffy added: “Sadly, smoking is more usually an unwilling addiction that began in childhood and the more we can do to help people who want to stop smoking the better”
In recent years, Scotland has taken significant steps to reduce health risks to the public with the Smoking, Health and Social Care Scotland Act banning smoking in enclosed public spaces from March 2006. It is now illegal to advertise or display tobacco products in shops and cigarette packets are now required to display the harmful effects of smoking.
Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock told The Scotsman, “The majority of adult smokers started before they were 18, and almost nobody starts smoking after 25. If we educate young people and help them stay off cigarettes, we can solve this problem for good.”
Luisa Kane, 25, smoked for 6 years before quitting in 2013. “I started smoking when I was 14, along with a few of my friends. We were always asking older friends to buy them for us.
“After a couple of years, I wanted to stop but I found it really hard. I was finally able to stop smoking when I was 20, but I needed help to do it”
Each year smoking kills around 10,000 Scots, according to Scottish Government statistics. The harmful habit also costs NHS Scotland more than £300m and is linked to 128,000 hospital admissions every year.
The #notafavour campaign is hoping to make steps towards Scotland becoming tobacco-free by 2034, wherein the only people who smoke are adults who are actively informed and choose to do so.