Tobacco-free Generation is a web resource page designed to provide youth groups and youth workers with the information, resources and support that they need to develop and deliver well-informed and effective tobacco prevention activities with the young people that they support.
Over 13,000 young people take up smoking each year in Scotland. That’s 36 young people every day.
There are many different factors which lead young people to smoke, but the extent to which tobacco is prominent, normal or accepted around them plays a crucial part.
We know that most smokers take up smoking before they are 18 years old and that young people from Scotland’s most deprived areas progress to become regular smokers more rapidly and more frequently than those in the least deprived areas.
We also know that youth workers are in a prime position to build on existing relationships, be positive role models and empower young people to make positive choices about their health and their behaviour.
The Tobacco-free Generation pages have been developed by ASH Scotland and Youth Scotland with support from Youthlink Scotland,Fast Forward, Young Scot and Scottish Government as part of the Youth Sector Tobacco Prevention Group (YSTPG).
The content of Tobacco-free Generation has been shaped by consultation with youth work service providers and youth workers. During that consultation, youth workers told us:
- smoking and tobacco use is an important issue and youth workers should be addressing it.
- smoking and tobacco impact on the health of young people, and reduces their disposable income.
- There is a perceived shortage of resources to help with tobacco prevention for youth workers.
- youth workers would use an online resource base focusing on tobacco.
- youth workers are keen to access tobacco awareness training in order fill knowledge gaps on smoking and tobacco issues.
The Tobacco-free Generation pages reflect the support needs of the youth workers that we consulted with. This means that Tobacco-free Generation offers:
- information on tobacco in Scotland and your area.
- accessible session ideas and resources.
- tobacco awareness raising sessions for workers.
- case studies and examples of effective practice.
- networking opportunities.
- support to help your group or organisation address tobacco issues effectively.
So, have a look at the pages, try out the activities, use the resources and let us know what you think about them. If youth work does indeed change lives, maybe it can play a part in helping to prevent 13,000 young people taking up smoking each year.