(2010), "UK - New “Smoke-free generation want parents to quit", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 23 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2010.06223aab.009Download as .RIS
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UK - New “Smoke-free generation want parents to quit
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 23, Issue 1
Keywords: Public health, Health services
A new “Smoke-free generation” of children say that they will never try a cigarette, think that smoking is really uncool and are increasingly worried about the health of smoking parents according to new research conducted on behalf of NHS Stop Smoking Services.
The research, which polled 1,000 children in England aged eight to 13, coincides with the launch of a powerful new Department of Health advertising campaign aimed at getting loved ones to stop smoking. It features real children, not actors, talking about how concerned they are about their parents’ smoking.
Gillian Merron, Public Health Minister said, “We understand how difficult it is to stop smoking. I hope this new campaign will give mums and dads the encouragement they need to realise they can do it with help from the NHS, and support from their children.
”You are four times more likely to quit if you use the free NHS stop smoking service. The facts are clear – every week 2,000 people die from smoking-related diseases, which has a devastating effect on children’s lives’.
Key findings include:
Almost all (96 per cent) children with a smoking parent wish that they would quit.
Nine out of ten children surveyed have never tried a cigarette, with 91 per cent of these believing that they will never try one.
Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of children whose parents smoke would rather their parents quit smoking than give them more pocket money.
More than nine out of ten children think that older people who smoke don’t look cool.
One in four children (27 per cent) believes that smoking could be extinct by 2030.
This emerging picture of the first “Smokefree Generation” is backed up by the latest Information Centre statistics on tobacco which show that regular smoking among 11 to 15 year olds has halved since its peak in the mid 1990s.
The majority of children are clear on the risks of smoking, with nine out of ten (87 per cent) children polled believing that people smoking around them is damaging to their health, and three quarters (76 per cent) recognising that it increases the likelihood of developing cancer.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive, Action on Smoking Health (ASH) said,
“These powerful new adverts are about tapping into emotions that children of smoking parents are experiencing on a day to day basis. This campaign gives smokers a clear incentive as to why they should quit and a clear guide as to how they should do so – using free local NHS support”.
Children are increasingly worried about the impact smoking has on family life, with four out of 10 indicating they have at least one parent who smoke, with half (51 per cent) doing so in the home and a third (35 per cent) doing so in the car. A further three quarters (76 per cent of children whose parents smoke in the car are concerned about damage to their health.
Children polled felt that the main benefit to being brought up in a smokefree environment was the improved health of the family (84 per cent), a more pleasant living environment (71 per cent) and improved family finances (69 per cent).
Kath Luxton, Local NHS Stop Smoking Adviser from West Sussex PCT said, “We work with lots of families to help parents stop smoking in a way that suits them best. This could be one-to-one sessions at a time or place that suits, group sessions for moral support or prescribing nicotine replacement to help them through those tough first few weeks. All our families who’ve been successful tell us that our help and support was invaluable in helping them give up smoking for good”.
For more information: www.dh.gov.uk