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Assist Youth

July 26, 2018 . by Matthew Hern

Although many youths think about and attempt to quit tobacco, many are unaware of, or unable to access cessation services. Also, many youths do not think that quitting tobacco is difficult enough to warrant professional assistance, and they report not having much interest in participating in such interventions. 1 Others may not access interventions or services that do not appear to address their particular needs or concerns. This is where the ASSIST programme for schools excels; the aim is to provide students ages 12-13 (year 8) with the opportunity to train to become peer supporters for their year group.

Certain schools are being offered the opportunity to become involved in an evidence-based, innovative and highly effective smoking prevention programme which aims to reduce the potential of adolescent smoking prevalence within schools.

Research has shown that smoking among young people is a group activity and that one of the best predictors of a young person taking up smoking is their peers’ smoking behaviour.

The ASSIST programme aims to reduce smoking amongst young people aged 12-13 (Year 8) by training influential students to disseminate new norms of behaviour through their established social networks. It has been rigorously evaluated as A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial, funded by the Medical Research Council, which took place in 59 secondary schools in South Wales and the South-West of England.

For further information on the programme, please contact Sarah Marlow: sarah.marlow@nottscc.gov.uk

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