Cigarette smoking is the biggest preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the UK, with most smokers becoming addicted before they reach 18. Intervening with young people to prevent them from starting smoking is a key priority.
Public Health Wales have looked at the evidence available to create a smoking prevention programme that links with existing initiatives such as the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes and involves a whole school approach to tobacco control.
JustB SmokeFree is a school based smoking prevention programme for Year 8 (12-13 year olds) students to enable them to discuss the risks of smoking and the benefits of being smoke free. It aims to build a community of young people that are knowledgable about the tactics of the tobacco industry and empowered to inform others.
65 schools across Wales in areas with the highest risk of smoking have been identified to participate in the JustB SmokeFree programme.
A group of influential year 8 students (Ambassadors) are recruited from each participating school. These young people attend a two day training course which covers a wide range of issues and topics related to smoking.
The young people are supported by a specially designed internet based app which helps them disseminate messages and record their smoke free conversations with their friends. At the end of the programme the young people become JustB Smoke free Ambassadors.
For more information on JustB SmokeFree please visit Public Health Wales (HERE)