Highland signs up for #notafavour campaign

Issued by NHS Highland

NHS Highland has signed up to ASH Scotland’s campaign to tackle adults buying tobacco or cigarettes for young people.

The health board’s improvement team and Highland Council trading standards team have been working in conjunction with ASH Scotland, the charity taking action to reduce harm caused by tobacco, to support their #notafavour initiative.

And a series of videos have been produced to target the campaign to local areas in Highland via social media.

NHS Highland’s health improvement specialist Eve MacLeod said: “We enlisted the help of our colleagues at Inverness College UHI to recruit some students to write and star in the mini-films.

“The context was informed by a personal account of a young person who is a volunteer test purchaser with the trading standards team. ASH Scotland will be promoting the videos for us over the next few weeks on their Facebook and Instagram.”

Inverness College UHI wellbeing wellbeing officer Claire Killburn-Young said: “It was a fantastic campaign for students to be involved in. The students were amazing and they really relished the opportunity and acted with creativity and professionalism.

“Inverness College UHI is also a member of ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation so it’s an issue we are really passionate about. We hope these videos have the desired effect and discourage adults form purchasing tobacco for young people.”

Mrs MacLeod continued: “We hope that the videos will encourage adults to think twice about buying tobacco or cigarettes for young people, because that is not doing young people a favour.

“We hope that by discouraging adults from purchasing tobacco products on behalf of young people, we can reduce the amount of young people exposed to harm from cigarettes and tobacco.”

ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “Most smokers started as children and most smokers say they want to stop. The #notafavour campaign is about how buying tobacco for young people helps them into addiction, ill health and money worries.

“I’m delighted to see everyone in Highland working so hard to promote the #notafavour campaign. It’s great to see the videos on social media from the young people at Inverness College, who are letting everyone know that buying tobacco from under-18s is not doing them a favour.”

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 and full campaign information about #notafavour can be found at www.notafavour.scot  .

Highland were also successful in being provided with numerous pavement stickers from ASH Scotland that will be placed around the Inverness area with the #notafavour campaign message.

NHS Highland, Highland Council and Inverness College UHI are all members of ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, an initiative to help reduce the harm caused by smoking and deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034. Find out more about this at www.ashscotland.org.uk/charter .

21 Aug 2018