Young people are more likely to start smoking if they live with a parent, carer or sibling who smokes (see Causes and risk factors section for discussion of risk factors for smoking uptake). Other factors that influence smoking uptake include smoking by friends and peer group members, the ease with which young people can obtain cigarettes (often illegally), exposure to tobacco marketing and depictions of smoking in films, television and other media. 5 Therefore, to be successful in preventing smoking uptake, it is not sufficient to focus on youth targeted interventions alone. Working on the other elements of tobacco control such as tackling the sale of cheap or illegal tobacco and proxy purchasing, and reducing exposure to second hand smoke through legislation and smoke-free policies, also help to prevent smoking uptake. 6

School-based interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing uptake and NICE have published guidance which sets out a number of relevant recommendations. These include the implementation of whole school smoke-free policies, incorporating education about the harms from smoking into the curriculum and supporting young person led interventions. 7   NICE also recommends targeted mass media campaigns to prevent smoking uptake among young people. 8

References

  1. Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, “Passive smoking and children,” London, 2010.
  2. NICE, “Smoking prevention and cessation pathway: Illegal sales,” [Online]. Available: https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/smoking#path=view%3A/pathways/smoking/strategy-policy-and-commissioning-for-smoking-prevention-and-cessation.xml&content=view-node%3Anodes-illegal-sales. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
  3. NICE, “School-based interventions to prevent smoking (PH23),” February 2010. [Online]. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph23. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
  4. NICE, “Smoking: preventing uptake in children and young people (PH14),” November 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph14. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
  5. Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, “Passive smoking and children,” London, 2010.
  6. NICE, “Smoking prevention and cessation pathway: Illegal sales,” [Online]. Available: https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/smoking#path=view%3A/pathways/smoking/strategy-policy-and-commissioning-for-smoking-prevention-and-cessation.xml&content=view-node%3Anodes-illegal-sales. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
  7. NICE, “School-based interventions to prevent smoking (PH23),” February 2010. [Online]. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph23. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
  8. NICE, “Smoking: preventing uptake in children and young people (PH14),” November 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph14. [Accessed 31 October 2016].