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Action plan for 'tobacco free generation' unveiled

The campaign will target children who were born in 2013 to reduce smoking.

Smoking: The campaign targets young people.
Smoking: The campaign targets young people. © No Smoking Day

Ministers have unveiled a new action plan to help Scotland meet the target of having a tobacco-free generation by 2034.

The Scottish Government's updated plan contains 44 measures aimed at addressing health inequalities and cutting smoking rates.

It includes plans to ban smoking around hospital buildings and implement the ban on possessing tobacco in prisons.

It also outlines media campaigns around discouraging smoking in school grounds and communal stairwells and preventing young people from taking up the habit.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's prevention expert based at the University of Stirling, said the "much-needed" plan will save lives.

She said: "The renewed commitment in this plan to work towards a smoke-free Scotland by 2034 is welcome.

"However, if the goal of helping people to stop smoking through the new Quit Your Way service is to be truly effective, levels of investment must be maintained.

"We know that stop smoking services are the most effective way to help people quit. Smokers are around three times more likely to quit if they use these services."

Tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in Scotland, responsible for more than 5700 cases every year, according to the charity.

In 2013, ministers set out plans to create a tobacco-free generation, meaning that when children born in 2013 reached the age of 21, their generation would not be smokers.

Launching the updated action plan, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: "Five years ago we set an ambitious target to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034.

"We've made good progress - halving the number of children exposed to secondhand smoke, introducing plain packaging and cracking down on cigarette sales to under-18s. Now it's time to set out our next steps.

"The action plan I'm publishing demonstrates our commitment to the new public health priorities, which include an ambition for a Scotland free from the harms caused by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. All of these together can create a healthier Scotland."

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