Supporting young people to remain smokefree

Group of 8 teenagers of varying ethnicity, with their heads forming a circle. Source: Microsoft.If we can support young people to be smokefree, they are likely to remain smokefree for life – since very few people take up smoking after they reach their 20s.

Young people are leading the way to a Smokefree Aotearoa as increasing numbers of 14 to 15 year olds have never even had a puff.

There are a combination of factors involved in why young people take up smoking, including:

  • Family smoking: A young person is 7 times more likely to start smoking if both parents smoke. If their parents quit, they are also more likely to quit.
  • Access to tobacco products: Young people are more likely to take up smoking if they can afford to, and if cigarettes are easy to get.
  • Tobacco advertising and promotion: Young people are easily influenced by advertising and seeing celebrities smoking.
  • Social groups: Young people who smoke tend to hang out together.  Teenagers are more likely to smoke if their friends smoke.
  • Parental rules: Ensuring that no-one smokes inside the home or in the car protects children and young people.  It helps if parents who smoke openly talk about concerns about their own smoking habit.
  • Social norms: It’s hard to be smokefree if smoking is common or normal.

Let’s work to change the social acceptance of smoking

Creating smokefree environments

Smokefree Aotearoa 2025It’s now illegal to smoke in or around the grounds of workplaces, hospitals, schools and early childhood centres.

Other areas that are voluntarily smokefree are parks, playgrounds, sports grounds and outdoor dining venues in the Canterbury, South Canterbury and West Coast regions.

Find out about Community and Public Health’s work around smokefree community spaces.

Find out more about the Fresh Air Project  – a pilot initiative supporting outdoor dining venues in Christchurch to become smokefree.

Creating a smokefree culture

Parents and caregivers are powerful role models. Kids copy what they see so supporting parents and caregivers to quit is an important part of developing a smokefree culture.

Find out about the quit services available to those who smoke.

Make smoking less appealing

Reducing access to and the appeal of cigarettes will lower the chances of a young person starting to smoke. The following are two key effective actions to reduce the appeal of smoking:


Documents

Downloads

Download or order smokefree resources from the Community Health Information Centre.

Links

Contact your local CPH office for further information:

CANTERBURY
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

SOUTH CANTERBURY
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

WEST COAST
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169


Stop Before You Start Campaign

Stop Before You Start puts a spotlight on young adult smoking behaviours, especially the turning point from experimental to regular smoking.

The campaign highlights the health and social impacts of smoking. The challenge to young adults is to understand that… “social smoking leads to regular smoking.”

The aims are to increase the audience’s resistance to tobacco, including:

  • offers of cigarettes in social settings;
  • understanding tobacco and its harms; and
  • increasing pro-smokefree and anti-tobacco attitudes.


Page last updated: 24/10/2017

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