School-based interventions to prevent smoking

NICE guidelines [PH23] Published date:

Review decision: 

The guidance will be partially updated.

Next review date: April 2016

This guidance is for all those responsible for preventing the uptake of smoking by children and young people aged under 19. This includes those working in the NHS, local authorities, education and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors. It may also be of interest to children and young people, their parents or carers and other members of the public.

For the purposes of this guidance, ‘schools’ includes ‘extended schools’ (where childcare or informal education is provided outside school hours), pupil referral units, secure training and local authority secure units. It also includes further education colleges.

The five recommendations include the following advice:

  • The smoking policy should support both prevention and stop smoking activities and should apply to everyone using the premises (including the grounds).
  • Information on smoking should be integrated into the curriculum. For example, classroom discussions could be relevant when teaching biology, chemistry, citizenship and maths.
  • Anti-smoking activities should be delivered as part of personal, social, health and economic (PHSE) and other activities related to Healthy Schools or Healthy Further Education status.
  • Anti-smoking activities should aim to develop decision-making skills and include strategies for enhancing self-esteem. Parents and carers should be encouraged to get involved and students could be trained to lead some of these programmes.
  • All staff involved in smoking prevention should be trained to do so.
  • Educational establishments should work in partnership with outside agencies to design, deliver, monitor and evaluate smoking prevention activities.

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