Two innovative schemes to discourage young people from starting smoking are being rolled out to all schools in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The imaginative Smoke-Free Class Competition and Smokefree Me initiatives, organised by NHS GGC’s Smoke Free Youth Services, have already been operating successfully in Glasgow schools.
They target young people with the aim of discouraging them from starting smoking and establishing a smokefree culture in their communities.
Sarah Lindsay, NHS GGC Health Improvement Senior (Tobacco and Young People) said:
“These campaigns have been launched to delay or prevent the onset of youth smoking.
“We also want to de-normalise and de-glamorise smoking by raising young people’s awareness of tobacco issues.
“It is important to prevent or delay young final taking that first step to lighting up because evidence shows that the younger you start, the more difficult it is to stop.”
The Smoke-Free Class Competition is open to S1 pupils who are asked to sign a declaration every month pledging to be smoke free, which teachers return to NHS GGC’s Smokefree Youth Services.
To enter, 90 per cent of the class must opt into the competition, with 80 per cent maintaining their promise not to smoke.
Everyone taking part receives a monthly newsletter packed with puzzles, quizzes, facts and news stories.
Positive smoke-free choices by the pupils are rewarded in the first two months with pens and pencils etc, an interactive competition with prizes of shopping vouchers, and ultimately, a grand prize draw with one entire class winning a holiday.
Last year’s winners were S1 pupils at Lourdes Secondary in Glasgow, who were whisked off to a four-day trip to Alton Towers, plus tours of Old Trafford and Cadburys World, activities at X-scape, a cinema trip and 10 pin bowling.
Smoke-Free Me is a tobacco education programme for primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils, and is designed to link into the national curriculum guidelines.
There are four lesson plans delivered by teachers in school followed by an interactive theatre production.
These plans look at smoking and ethics; cigarette contents and the effects on the body; second hand smoke; and peer pressure and influences.
The packs will arrive in schools before Christmas to allow teachers time to incorporate their delivery into class time.
A theatre company then visits each school to perform an interactive show covering the pack material and reinforcing the content.
Secondary schools interested in the SmokeFree Class competition can still sign up by contacting Ashley Gillies on 0141 201 4627 or email [email protected]
to find out more.
Notes to Editors:
Glasgow Schools Survey 2007
•9246 secondary school pupils (S1-S4) across 27 Glasgow city schools completed a health and wellbeing survey questionnaire.
•9.7% smoking on at least some days (S1-S4)
•15.8% smoking on at least some days (S4)
•One in 10 pupils in Glasgow was smoking on at least some days with little variation across CHCPs for this indicator.
•Proportion of all school pupils who smoked on at least some days ranged from 5% at Bellahouston to 20% at Govan.
Smoking prevalence in Greater Glasgow area (2006)
•In Greater Glasgow, 3% of 13 year olds were regular smokers compared with 14% of 15 year olds.
•70% of 13 year olds in Greater Glasgow reported that they had never smoked, compared with 48% of 15 year olds.
•Girls in Greater Glasgow were significantly more likely to be regular smokers than boys (10% of girls and 7% of boys were regular smokers).
•On average, pupils were 12 years old when they first smoked a cigarette (more than a puff).
•50% of all pupils felt that it was ‘ok’ to ‘try smoking to see what it’s like’ (35% of 13 year olds vs. 64% of 15 year olds).
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429/