ash wales welcomes big lottery funding to set up first quit smoking service for young people by HC12100118278


									Press release

Strictly Embargoed until 00.01 Friday May 11th 2012

ASH Wales awarded BIG Lottery funding to create Wales’s first
smoking cessation service for young people
Public health charity ASH Wales has been awarded more than £850,000 from the BIG Lottery to fund
Wales’s first smoking cessation service aimed specifically at young people.

The Young People’s Quit Smoking Service will fulfil a need that is unlike any other service currently
available in Wales and will include online support using social media, text messaging and a
telephone helpline tailored to teenagers as well as a volunteer programme.

Around 14,000 young people aged 11-15 try smoking every year in Wales. Research carried out by
ASH Wales last year found that 60% of young smokers would like help to quit but just 95 young
people under 18 were treated by Stop Smoking Wales, the national smoking cessation service for
support in 2010/11i

The funding will enable ASH Wales to appoint seven new members of staff to run the youth service
for three years including a Programme Manager; two telephone advisers; a training and education
officer, a web social media officer, a youth tobacco prevention specialist and a youth tobacco control
support officer.

Chief Executive of ASH Wales Elen de Lacy said:

“There is currently a huge gap in smoking cessation support tailored to young people in Wales, but
it is vital to reach them before a life-long addiction takes hold.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the BIG Lottery which will enable us to offer
dedicated support and advice to young people. Because most smokers experiment with cigarettes
and get addicted to nicotine in their teenage years it is vitally important that a targeted service is
available to young people to give them the facts about tobacco and the harm it causes. It’s also vital
to have a service that is delivered in a variety of ways including through social media and online.”
“Wales has youth smoking rates which are far too high with 14% of 15 year old girls and 9% of 15
year old boys regularly smoking (HBSC 2010) and these smokers are generally concentrated in areas
of deprivation. A young person’s smoking cessation advice service is vital if we are to address and
reduce the shocking statistics of youth smoking in Wales.”

In July 2011 ASH Wales undertook a major consultation exercise to gauge the views of young people
aged 11-25 from across Wales and a wide range of stakeholders. ASH Wales received 1,049
responses to the survey which revealed that:

• 73% of young smokers thought a youth specific quit smoking service was a good idea

•Over half (53%) of young smokers would use an internet service aimed at young people for help
quitting or to help others

•60% of smokers reported that they would like help to quit

•57% of young people who had family and friends who smoked would like information to support
them to quit

•76% of smokers thought that they were addicted

Ms de Lacy added: “Our research has shown that traditional youth focussed tobacco education
programmes have left young people in a passive position. They are usually designed by adults,
delivered by authority figures such as teachers and are often perceived as punitive. Such
programmes fail to embrace the realities of young peoples' lives. This Young People’s Quit Smoking
Service will ensure young people design their tobacco control programme and that the programme
resonates with the realities of their everyday experiences at home, school, and in their


Notes for Editors:

ASH Wales was awarded £864,881 from the BIG Lottery to fund the Young People’s Smoking
Cessation Service for three years

ASH Wales is the only voluntary organisation in Wales with the sole task of tackling the ill health
caused by tobacco use. Our main aim is to achieve a reduction in, and eventual elimination of, the
health problems associated with tobacco use.          Further information can be found at:

ASH Wales was established in 1976 as a branch of ASH UK. In 2007 ASH Wales became an
independent company limited by guarantee and a charity registered in Wales.

For all press enquiries and interviews please contact Felicity Waters, Press and Campaigns Manager,
ASH Wales at or tel 02920 641101 / 07917 833081

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