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World-leading research to help young people say ‘no’ to smoking

11:10 am, Friday, 11th November 2022 - 3 months ago

Children and families

YOUNG people in North East Lincolnshire are set to benefit from world-leading research into smoking prevention.

The INTENT training was developed by a team of psychologists at the University of Leeds and saw over six thousand school-aged students tracked over four years, with half receiving interventions to encourage them not to take up smoking.

According to research, 25.6% of the students that received INTENT were less likely to report having ever smoked than those that did not participate in the programme.

Now, the Council’s Public Health team have purchased licenses to allow the training to be delivered to young people in this area.

According to data from Public Health England, 16.5% of the local population smoke compared with the figure for England (12.1%).

The training, which is being delivered in local schools, is a preventative measure which will see students sit 2 lessons per year to warn them of the dangers of smoking, and will teach them about cigarettes, vaping, and how best to say no when offered a cigarette.

Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children and young people in North East Lincolnshire, said:

“Cigarettes are a real problem – particularly in places like North East Lincolnshire.

“As we know, smoking has been shown to cause significant health problems, with around 78,000 people dying each year to smoking-related illness.

“It’s also an expensive habit to maintain, and contributes significantly to some of the litter that blights our environment.

“We want young people to know and be able to recognise the dangers of smoking well before they are ever offered a cigarette, and to be equipped with the confidence to say ‘no’.

“With that in mind, I fully support the rollout of this training and would encourage all schools in our patch to sign up.”

Councillor Stan Shreeve, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and adult social care, said:

“It’s no secret that smoking is incredibly damaging to a person’s health. We have seen that people who smoke tend to require health and social care support at a much younger age than those who do not smoke.

“Whilst we are seeing a drop in smokers over time, there is always more to do. We do not want our children and young people taking up smoking.

“This training will give them all the tools and knowledge to be able to make informed decisions. I’m pleased to see the training being rolled out in places like ours.”

The training involves young people creating a series of “if this happens … then I will do this” scenarios, to help develop the resilience to deal with pressure from friends or associates to smoke.

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