Children in Scotland has backed a charter which aims to make the country tobacco free
The equivalent of a classroom full of children take up smoking in Scotland every day.
Research by Ash Scotland has revealed that 36 children start smoking cigarettes every day of the year.
The study also found that although smoking rates are declining, many young people are still starting - and those in deprived areas more likely to be smokers.
The research has been backed by Children in Scotland, with the charity’s chief executive Jackie Brock named as a champion of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation.
Brock said: “In Scotland in 2018 a classroom full of children gets hooked on smoking every single day. It’s shocking to me that we accept that a choice made by someone as young as 13 or 14 to smoke just one or two cigarettes can lead to decades of addiction, expense and ill-health.
“The majority of adult smokers started before they were 18, and almost nobody starts smoking after 25. If we educate young people and help them stay off cigarettes, we can solve this problem for good.”
ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “We’ve got a responsibility to the next generation to take meaningful action against smoking. There are parts of Scotland where life expectancy is almost twenty years less than the national average, and a big part of that is down to tobacco. We can’t let this cycle continue.
“Everyone wants to see cigarettes out of fashion for the next generation. The resources that are available through the charter are a great way for schools and community groups to play their part in achieving that goal."