Young people and tobacco

On Monday 27th February 2017, we published our report: New Issues and Age-Old Challenges: A Review of Young People’s Relationship with Tobacco.

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has been involved in challenging tobacco consumption since we started as a charity in 1990. This has been driven by the knowledge that exposure to smoke is linked to 85 per cent of lung cancers in the UK.

By sharing with young people the true impact of tobacco, we hope to prevent a future generation suffering the economic, social and health damage caused by this addiction.

This report reflects our commitment to carry on talking about this problem and how it is evolving, until we are a country where lung cancer is no longer a threat to our young people.

Ultimately we are calling on the Government to publish a new tobacco control strategy to support local authorities and charities to further decrease the uptake of smoking in young people.

The report made the following recommendations:

  • The Government must publish an updated tobacco prevention and control strategy without further delay. The strategy should draw upon the latest evidence and emerging smoking trends amongst the population, with a focus on those facing young people
  • Specific recommendations within the strategy must focus on reducing levels of youth smoking amongst the worst-off people in society, including (but not exclusively) those suffering from mental illness, economic hardship, and those belonging to minority but high risk communities
  • The solutions which successfully delivered progress in recent decades can no longer be relied upon to do the same for this generation. The strategy must at all times be future-focused, seeking to increase interventions which engage young people within their day-to-day lives. This will also require broader thinking about influences on young people and the role of legislation to safeguard young people in a globally interconnected digital age
  • With public health cuts unlikely to be reversed in the short/medium term, recommendations should ensure that investment is made in systems that offers greatest impact and value for money. The development of standardised evaluation frameworks for prevention services will be an important part of this drive towards cost-effectiveness. These new frameworks should form the basis of a comprehensive update of relevant NICE and PHE guidelines, which should also include the most up-to-date data on the impact of such service