Overtoun Medical Practice

Rutherglen Primary Care Centre, 130 Stonelaw Road, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire G73 2PQ

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Support Scotland’s Campaign to Stop Young People Being Given Tobacco

Posted on March 16th, 2018

Why buying tobacco for kids isn’t doing them a favour

It is illegal to sell tobacco to under 18’s, to buy tobacco to give to under 18s or for under 18s to try to buy tobacco products themselves.

There are good reasons for this.

  • Adolescents get dependent on nicotine faster than adults do. They find nicotine more rewarding, underestimate the risks of smoking, and are more influenced by smoking behaviour around them.
  • The average smoker in Scotland has 13 cigarettes a day, costing them £130 a month or £1600 a year.
  • The earlier a smoker starts the more health damage results and the harder it is to quit. Every cigarette smoked results in 11 minutes of life lost, so that smoking is by far the biggest preventable cause of ill health and death in Scotland.

It is not surprising that nearly 70% of smokers say that they want to quit.

Most people would not give tobacco to children, not because of the threat of a fine but because they know it’s just wrong.

Yet 36 young people in Scotland take up smoking every day – and surveys of young people who smoke show that this is the most common way that they get hold of cigarettes.

We need to reach that minority of people who do pass on cigarettes to those too young to buy it for themselves.

With the source of tobacco usually being people they know, we have the chance to highlight how giving tobacco to young people is not doing them a favour – it is doing serious harm to friends, family and other people you know and care about.

This campaign is part of a wider effort for Scotland to become “tobacco-free” by 2034 – meaning a situation where the only people who smoke are the small number of informed adults who actively choose to do so.

Help stop young people being given tobacco



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