It's #NotAFavour to give cigarettes to young people

15 November 2017

The Commissioner has lent his voice to ASH Scotland's #NotAFavour campaign, which reminds Scots that giving cigarettes to young people isn't doing them a favour.

About the campaign

Most young people who smoke get their cigarettes from people they know, who might think they’re doing them a favour.

This campaign aims to highlight how that’s not the case.

Most smokers started their habit when they were children, and most smokers say they want to stop now.

Buying cigarettes for children can lead to addiction, ill health and money worries.

The effects of tobacco

It’s illegal to:

  • sell tobacco to someone under 18,
  • buy tobacco to give to someone under 18, and
  • for someone under 18 to try and buy tobacco 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.

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– but potentially a way of causing them serious harm.

Visit the #NotAFavour campaign's website.