Schools targeted by stop smoking teams

PUBLISHED: 16:48 23 June 2014

More is being done to stop youngsters taking up smoking when they are older.

More is being done to stop youngsters taking up smoking when they are older.

Archant

A NEW initiative will be tried at nine primary schools in an attempt to better educate children about the dangers of smoking.

An educational programme is being carried out by stop smoking charity QUIT, alongside North Somerset Council, in a bid to reduce the number of 
people who pick up the habit every year.

With an estimated 27,000 adult smokers and more than 540 people starting every year in North Somerset, it is hoped targeting children from an early age will reduce the number of smoking-related deaths.

Six Weston schools have signed up: Ashcombe, Bournville, Christ Church, Corpus Christi, Milton Park and Walliscote primary schools. Schools in Hutton, Kewstoke and Uphill will also take part.

The programme involves giving a one-hour presentation to children aged nine to 11 and providing extra information to parents about the dangers of smoking.

Becky Pollard, North Somerset’s director of public health said: “Children are more likely to take up smoking if they live in households with parents who smoke.

“Smokers who start before they are 16 are twice as likely to continue smoking in later life and are also likely to be heavier smokers.”

Ms Pollard said the feedback so far has been positive and a number of parents are turning to the council’s stop smoking team as a result of the initiative.

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