A new campaign targeting adults who give cigarettes to children has been launched.
Aberdeenshire Trading Standards and the Local Tobacco Alliance are supporting a national campaign to challenge adults who buy or give cigarettes to children and young people.
Most young people who smoke get their tobacco from friends, family and other people they know who think they are “doing them a favour”.
In response, the #notafavour campaign has been launched to make it clear that helping under-18s get hold of cigarettes is leading them towards addiction, ill health and financial problems.
The campaign has been developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland and the Scottish Tobacco-free Alliance, as part of a national effort to reduce the 36 young people who take up smoking every day, so that the next generation can grow up free from the harm caused by smoking.
Graphics and posters will be visible across all public toilet facilities in Aberdeenshire and Tesco petrol stations will display images on their forecourt nozzles throughout the campaign in both Banchory and Inverurie.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said
Most people who smoke started as children, and the great majority now say they regret it. So let’s keep tobacco out of the hands of young people. If we could really make starting to smoke an adult choice then almost nobody would do it.
Peter Adamson, chairman of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), added
There are good reasons why it is illegal to sell cigarettes to under-18s. Adolescents get addicted to nicotine faster than adults do, and so find it harder to escape the health problems and financial costs from smoking.
Wilma Urquhart, Aberdeenshire Trading Standards Manager said
We are delighted to help the young people across Aberdeenshire by supporting the #notafavour campaign. Most people here wouldn’t dream of buying tobacco for young people, but for those who do, we want to challenge the attitudes and assumptions behind this behaviour. You are most certainly not doing our young people any favours and you can also be fined up to £5000 if you get caught.
To follow the campaign, look out for #notafavour on Facebook and Twitter. For further information, visit the www.notafavour.scot website.