Considerable progress has been made in reducing cigarette smoking among adults but there has been less success in reducing the uptake of smoking in young adolescents. In Spring 2008 the Department of Health initiated a consultation on the future tobacco control strategy for England. One of the key issues addressed by the consultation is how to reduce smoking in children and young people.
The aim of this project is to produce a report which outlines and reviews the evidence base on young people (11-24 years) and smoking, particularly in relation to smoking prevention, in order to help inform the Department of Health’s consultation process and subsequent policy development. The report addresses three key questions: What are the current patterns and trends in smoking in young people in England by key socio-demographic variables (sex, age, socio-economic status, ethnicity)?; What is known about why young people start and continue to smoke?; What is the current tobacco control policy context and future policy options on smoking prevention and cessation for young people in England and their likely effectiveness? The project collected and review relevant information primarily from national surveys and recent national and international reviews on young people and smoking, including general reviews and those on specific aspects on youth smoking prevention and cessation. Towards the end of the project an expert workshop was held to bring together around 20 experts in young people and smoking to consider the draft report, identify any significant gaps in the research review and consider the evidence on the likely effectiveness of future policy options.