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Bristol takes innovative approach to help parents quit smoking

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Bristol is trialing a new approach to help parents quit smoking and prevent young people from picking up the habit.

The council is supporting UK charity, QUIT, to roll out its Smoke Free Family Life campaign in Bristol after a pilot scheme enjoyed significant success.

The campaign involves working with schools, initially eight primary and two secondary schools, to give young people the facts about smoking to create discussions with their parents and carers who want to quit.

The QUIT team are going into schools to give presentations to children aged 7 – 14 years, as research has shown this is when children are most likely to think about taking up smoking in the future. Information booklets are also handed out, with separate editions and messaging for parents and pupils.

Councillor Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods with responsibility for Public Health, said: “Giving up smoking is extremely difficult but there’s a lot of support available for people who want to quit. I’m pleased that Bristol is working with QUIT to trial this new approach, which has proven to be a success in other places. It’s great we can work with other organisations to help people stop.”

The first presentation in a school will take place this week at Fair Furlong Primary School with others to follow shortly after.

Nick Faraday, Youth Services Manager for QUIT, said: “We’ve got high hopes for this holistic approach. During the trial 40% of young people who saw the presentations said they spoke to their parents or carers about smoking and of those 62% said they would attempt to quit as a result of the conversation.

“We’re taking a double-pronged approach to target both children and parents. The booklets we’ve designed explain the dangers of smoking in an age-appropriate way and we’ve found that as a result kids are less likely to start smoking, and parents are more likely to quit.”

QUIT will work with pupils and their parents and carers to evaluate the success of the campaign, with support from the council’s stop smoking team to track the number of people who successfully quit.

A robust methodology and evaluation is being carried out by Professor Robert West – a leading global expert in smoking cessation – and his team at University College London.

Bristol City Council’s stop smoking team is working across the city on a number of initiatives to help citizens stop smoking including recent campaigns to discourage people from smoking in cars and encouraging people not to smoke in certain public squares.

People looking to quit smoking can call Smokefree Bristol on 0117 922 22 55

For more information or interview requests please contact Amy Bullen, Public Relations Officer at Bristol City Council, amy.bullen@bristol.gov.uk or 0117 922 4316.

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