Preventing the uptake of smoking by children and young people

NICE guidelines [PH14] Published date:

Review decision: 

The guideline will be fully updated including a review of the scope.

Next review date: TBC

This guidance is for all those responsible for the health and wellbeing of children and young people aged under 18. This includes those working in the NHS, local authorities, the criminal justice system and the wider public, voluntary and community sectors. It is also aimed at the private sector, in particular the retail industry and mass-media services.

The recommendations focus on mass-media and point-of-sales measures.  These should be combined with regulation, education, cessation support and other activities as part of a comprehensive strategy.

Mass-media campaigns can include TV, newspapers and the Internet. Point-of-sales measures take place where tobacco is sold, such as at the  shop counter.

Mass-media recommendations include the following advice:

  • Work in partnership with a range of organisations, as well as children and young people, but do not involve the tobacco industry. National campaigns should link to regional and local activities.
  • Consider messages that will lead to a strong emotional reaction, by portraying tobacco as a deadly product and including graphic images of its effect.

Two recommendations focus on illegal sales. These are aimed at national government, local authorities and trading standards bodies.

  • This guidance was amended in November 2014 to reflect the ban on the sale of tobacco from vending machines, which came into effect in October 2011 in England. 

    The changes made were:

    Recommendation 4 and 5 were amended to remove mentions of vending machines.

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