The Right Approach: Scotland Charter for Tobacco-free Generation

Date: 9th August 2016
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

ASH Scotland has developed this initiative to help deliver a Tobacco-free Generation by 2034. Together is pleased to have signed up to support this rights-focused Charter.

The aim of Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is to:

- inspire organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco;

- raise awareness of the goal of creating a tobacco-free generation of Scots by 2034 and the Scottish Government's tobacco control strategy and;

- support organisations whose work impacts on children, young people and families.

The Charter has six key principles that encourage discussion and enable organisations to examine how their own policy and practice can best contribute to the tobacco-free goal:

  1. Every baby should be born free from the harmful effects of tobacco;
  2. Children have a particular need for a smoke-free environment;
  3. All children should play, learn and socialise in places that are free from tobacco;
  4. Every child has the right to effective education that equips them to make informed positive choices on tobacco and health;
  5. All young people should be protected from commercial interests which profit from recruiting new smokers;
  6. Any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them to become tobacco-free.

UN Concluding Observations

In June 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, following a UK State Party examination, released a set of recommendations, known as Concluding Observations that calls on the UK and devolved governments to provide children with safe, accessible, inclusive and smoking-free spaces for play and socialisation and public transport to access such spaces (Concluding Observation 74b).

This recommendation resonates with ASH Scotland's approach to protecting children from smoke exposure, addiction and the commercial interests of big tobacco. In particular, this is directly aligned with the third principle of Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation that "all children should play, learn and socialise in places that are free from tobacco." This ambitious initiative aims to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034, which would mean the children who are in nursery now can be the first generation to grow up free from the harm caused by tobacco.