by Emma Papakyriakou, ASH Scotland
Tobacco use remains the main modifiable risk factor for cancer. Avoiding tobacco smoke throughout the lifespan is a major goal for cancer risk reduction and this includes smoking in late childhood/early adulthood. In Scotland, smoking amongst 16 – 24 year olds is a cause for concern. Smoking rates rise from 9% of 15 year olds to around 18% of 16 to 24 year olds. Very few adults start smoking, with 99% of first cigarette use occuring by the age of 26.
We have few tried and tested interventions to prevent smoking amongst 16 – 24 year olds. However, this is a key transitional stage for young adults, and a number of social, cultural and environmental factors contribute to the uptake of smoking. The Scottish Government’s national tobacco strategy raises the importance of helping young adults negotiate choices around tobacco use and creating environments which encourage young people to choose not to smoke.
Tobacco-free campuses are not about excluding those who choose to smoke. They simply create environments which are protective and health promoting to all students, staff, contractors and visitors, whether they choose to smoke or not. A tobacco-free campus aims to:
We are delighted that in August this year, Ayrshire College made all campus grounds smoke-free and Dundee and Angus College launched their clean air policy.
Creating tobacco-free campuses has a number of benefits
Helping you become a tobacco-free campus
ASH Scotland is committed to supporting the development of tobacco-free campuses across Scotland and would like to hear from any academics willing to promote tobacco-free status for their own campus. Please contact Emma Papakyriakou on <a href=”mailto:EPapakyriakou@ashscotland.org.uk”>EPapakyriakou@ashscotland.org.uk</a> or 0131 220 9484.
This article was originally published in the SCPN Newsletter Volume 6, Issue 4. Read it here.