Published date : 24 Nov 2016

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth has praised the work of Fife College and Fife-based care provider, A Life Explored after she presented them both with national awards at the Scottish Parliament for their work in tackling harm caused by tobacco.

These awards are part of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation; an initiative by health charity Action on Smoking and Health to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034 (by this we mean less than 5% of the population still smokes). The Charter inspires organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

Over 90 organisations have pledged support for the Charter. These awards recognise the contributions these organisations are making in working towards a tobacco-free generation. Fife College boldly aspires to be a smoke-free College Campus by 2019.

They have recently introduced a new Clear Air Policy and have committed to the Healthy Body Health Minds initiative to help change attitudes towards smoking on campus. The college works in partnership with local NHS stop-smoking services to support staff and students to quit smoking whilst promoting positive health messages across campus.

A Life Explored has developed a unique forward-thinking smoke-free policy for both their children and the adults who care for them. Adults encourage the children and young people in their care to lead healthy lifestyles, and offer support for those who want to quit.

Children who stop  smoking receive incentives such as increased pocket money for remaining smoke-free. They are working in partnership with the Care Inspectorate and ASH Scotland to influence the development of national tobacco policy guidance for use within the residential care sector.

Ms Gilruth said “I was delighted to present these awards to Fife College and to A Life Explored. Both organisations are very worth recipients. Research shows that 13,000 young people start smoking each year in Scotland. As a former teacher I am only too aware that young people continue to smoke recreationally.

"We can all be influential in helping young people understand the harmful effects caused by tobacco and smoking.”

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “ASH Scotland launched Scotland's Charter for a tobacco-free generation to help raise awareness of and deliver the worthwhile vision for putting smoking out of fashion for the next generation.

“In its first year, the response to the charter has been excellent. We now have nearly 100 organisations signed up to the Charter, and it is proving an effective way to bring people together and motivate organisations in the fight against tobacco and the harmful effects it has on children and young people.

“These awards celebrate some of the positive actions that Charter signatories across the country are delivering to help to ensure that children who are in nursery now become the first generation to grow up in communities where tobacco is hardly noticed.”

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