Fenland school to take part in award-winning Kick Ash campaign to stop under-16s smoking

A FENLAND school is to take part in ‘Kick Ash’ - an award-winning campaign aimed at preventing under-16s from smoking.

Sir Harry Smith Community College, in Whittlesey, is one of four Cambridgeshire schools adopting the programme, which is led by young people.

Kick Ash recruits and trains 15-year-old mentors to support 10 and 11-year-olds - an age group vulnerable to starting smoking.

The scheme was piloted last year at Bottisham Village College, where more than 1000 students pledged to be smoke free. Mentors met with their MP James Paice to inform him of tobacco companies and their targeted marketing on websites such as Facebook.

Mr Paice said: “I was not aware that social networking sites are being used in this way and am grateful for this being drawn to my attention.

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“I greatly admire the work that these girls are doing in our local area and specifically in their own school, to encourage young people not to start smoking.”

More than 120 student mentors have already been recruited for this year’s programme.

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As well as mentoring the younger children, Kick Ash tries to develop stop smoking services in schools.

The campaign also works with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers on business advice visits and test purchasing - where underage volunteers attempt to buy tobacco products.

The other schools adopting Kick Ash, which is supported by NHS Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire County Council, are Swavesey Village College, Bottisham Village College and St Peter’s in Huntingdon.

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