New campaign targets adults who give cigarettes to children
Issued as part of the joint campaign with NHS Highland Health Improvement
Campaigners in the Highlands are supporting a national campaign to challenge adults who buy or give cigarettes to children and young people.
Most children who smoke get their tobacco from friends, family and other people they know. Often these adults think they are “doing them a favour”. In response, the #notafavour campaign will make it clear that helping under-18s get hold of cigarettes is helping them into addiction, ill health and financial problems.
There are good reasons why it is illegal to sell cigarettes to under-18s. Most people who smoke started as children, and the great majority now say they regret it. Adolescents get addicted to nicotine faster than adults do, and so find it harder to escape the health problems and financial costs from smoking. If smoking was an adult choice, almost nobody would do it.
The campaign has been developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland and the Scottish Tobacco-free Alliance, as part of a national effort to reduce the 36 young people who take up smoking every day, so that the next generation can grow up free from the harm caused by smoking.
In the Highlands local representatives will be Highland Council Trading Standards and NHS Highland Health Improvement.
David MacKenzie, Highland Council Trading Standards Manager, said: “We are delighted to help the young people of the Highlands by supporting the #notafavour campaign. Most people here wouldn’t dream of buying tobacco for kids, but for those who do we want to challenge the attitudes and assumptions behind this behaviour – you are most certainly not doing them any favours. What you are doing is illegal and could land you with an on the spot fine of £200. Anyone who wishes to report activity of this nature can do so through www.highland.gov.uk/agerestrictedsales
Eve MacLeod, NHS Highland Health Improvement Specialist, said: “We want to support young people in Highland make healthy choices about tobacco and smoking. We’re pleased to be supporting the #notafavour campaign, which encourages adults not to buy tobacco for our young people. This will help protect young people against the harms of smoking.”