East Dunbartonshire Council and the East Dunbartonshire Tobacco Alliance are supporting a national campaign to challenge adults who buy or give cigarettes to children and young people.
The evidence tells us that young people who smoke usually 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 those helping under-18s to get hold of cigarettes are also helping them into addiction, ill health and financial problems.
The campaign has been developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland and the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland and is fully supported by East Dunbartonshire Tobacco Alliance, as part of a national effort to reduce the number of young people who take up smoking every day.
As part of the campaign Council Trading Standards Officers will be carrying out visits to tobacco traders to highlight the issue and support them in dealing with potential proxy sales. In addition to this, pavements throughout East Dunbartonshire will also be stencilled with temporary spray paint to promote the campaign message that it’s illegal to buy tobacco to give to under 18s.
Secondary schools across the area will also be visited by representatives of the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) to encourage them to debate the issue of proxy sales.
Council Leader Gordan Low, said, “The Council and East Dunbartonshire Tobacco Alliance are delighted to help the young people of East Dunbartonshire by supporting the #notafavour campaign.
“Most people wouldn’t dream of buying tobacco for young people, but for those who do we want to challenge the attitudes and assumptions behind this behaviour – they are most certainly not doing them any favours.”
Sandra Cairney, Head of Planning, Strategy and Health Improvement for East Dunbartonshire HSCP, said, “There are good reasons why it is illegal to sell cigarettes to under-18s. Adolescents get addicted to nicotine faster than adults do, and so find it harder to escape the health problems and financial costs from smoking.”
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said, “Most people who smoke started as children, and the great majority now say they regret it. So let’s keep tobacco out of the hands of young people. If we could really make starting to smoke an adult choice then almost nobody would do it.”