Hartlepool schools and youth clubs targeted in smoking crackdown

Pat Marshall, who is bidding to help cigarette-using youngsters.
Pat Marshall, who is bidding to help cigarette-using youngsters.

Health experts will target schools and youth clubs as they take the crackdown on smoking to the youngsters of Hartlepool.

The Hartlepool Mail told yesterday how six per cent of the town’s 11-15 year-olds are smokers - that’s 313 children who have already taken up tobacco before their 16th birthday.

Obviously, it is daunting for kids to come in to a drop-in service with a lot of adults. We are aiming at school nurses and youth and community workers providing the service so they feel more confident with the people to talk to.

Pat Marshall, stop smoking service manager

Today, Pat Marshall of the stop smoking service for the area, said: “We want to make the approach a bit more youth friendly.”

She admitted that youngsters may not want to attend quit-smoking sessions held at the regular venues.

“Obviously, it is daunting for kids to come in to a drop-in service with a lot of adults.

“We are aiming at school nurses and youth and community workers providing the service so they feel more confident with the people to talk to.”

Other statistics show more than 250 youngsters in the town have to get medical help after breathing in other people’s smoke.

The figures come on the day a new five-year action plan was launched, called Smoking Still Kills.

It calls on the Government to introduce a levy on tobacco companies to help pay for services to help people quit smoking, reducing the burden on local families as well as the local authorities and the NHS.

Anyone wanting more information on quit smoking services should visit www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/ or call (01642) 383819 during office hours.