Kick Ash is a smoking prevention programme centred on young people. Kick Ash aims to:
- Encourage all young people to be proud to be smoke free
- Discourage young people from starting to smoke
- Support those who want to quit smoking through providing stop
smoking services accessible to young people
- Reduce underage tobacco sales.
Kick Ash is now in its seventh year. Currently, 10 secondary schools and their partner primary schools are involved in the programme. By Jan 2016, 850 mentors from Y10 will have been trained. The three main components of the work are prevention of uptake of smoking, cessation support for those who have started smoking and enforcement of the law relating to underage sales.
Year 10 (15-year-old) mentors are at the centre of Kick Ash. Each year approximately 25 mentors are trained in each participating secondary school. These mentors go on to engage in various activities, both in their school and in the wider community. Our mentors benefit from sharing the positive ‘Young People: Proud to be Smoke Free’ message with a wide variety of people, both young and old.
The mentors lead sessions in their local primary schools, working with Year 5 and 6 pupils. They talk about peer influence and how this can affect decisions around smoking. They also discuss the actual levels of smoking in their secondary schools (based on Health Related Behaviour Survey data) and ensure that the younger pupils have an accurate understanding of smoking prevalence.
Key Stage 3 Work
The Kick Ash mentors lead a variety of activities in their own schools to promote the ‘Young People: Proud to be smoke free’ message. Some mentors deliver sessions to Year 8 students as part of their planned PSHE curriculum, others devise and lead awareness raising activities.
All the mentors receive training on supporting friends and family with giving up smoking. They work closely with Camquit, Cambridgeshire’s stop smoking service. Many of our mentors report having supported family and friends in quit attempts.
Mentors meet with shop managers in the communities in order to reduce sales of tobacco to those under 18. They work with Trading Standards officers to develop awareness and publicise the Challenge 25 campaign