Ford A, Moodie C, MacKintosh AM & Hastings G (2013) How adolescents perceive cigarette packaging and possible benefits of plain packaging. Education and Health, 31 (2), pp. 83-88. http://sheu.org.uk/x/eh312af.pdf
Surveys in secondary schools in Scotland show 3% of 13 year olds to be regular smokers, i.e. smoke one or more cigarettes a week, with this number rising to 13% for 15 year olds (Black et al., 2011). While smoking prevalence is in long-term decline in Scotland, and indeed most of Europe, these figures are concerning given that trying a single cigarette increases the risk that an adolescent will become a later smoker, even after a gap of not smoking for up to three years (Fidler et al., 2006). Furthermore, the earlier that adolescents start smoking regularly, the greater the risk of developing tobaccorelated cancers and other diseases (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2004; Muller, 2007). For smoking prevention to be effective a coordinated approach is required. This may include policy measures such as increasing taxation on tobacco products to keep prices high, and non-policy measures such as providing health advice to parents and carers, as well as promoting smoke-free domestic environments and encouraging smoking cessation (Muller, 2007). School-based interventions can also play a key role in helping prevention efforts (NICE, 2010).
Education and Health: Volume 31, Issue 2