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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14690: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 16 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reported figures from Ash Scotland, which suggest that 36 children in Scotland are becoming smokers every day, what action it is taking to tackle the number of children and young people smoking.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 6 March 2018

Our efforts on smoking rates have been bold, and remarkable progress has been made to date. Following a number of successful actions, including banning tobacco advertising, price increases and raising the age of purchasing cigarettes to 18, the proportion of young people in Scotland who smoke has fallen to the lowest level since surveys began. In fact smoking rates among 

‎ 13 and 15 years old are at an all-time low (2% and 7%). We were also amongst the first in the world to set a tobacco-free target by 2034. Our aim is to create a generation of young people who do not want to smoke. We will publish a range of measures to reduce smoking in our forthcoming refresh of the Scottish tobacco control strategy.

In addition the “Not a favour ” campaign was launched recently making it clear that helping anyone under-age to get hold of cigarettes is helping them into addiction, ill health and financial problems. The campaign was developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, with Scottish Government funding and strong support from Trading Standards groups. A new campaign website – hosts a range of free campaign materials for use locally by trading standards, retailers, health and community groups and others.