This workshop programme would be appropriate for use in youth settings, such as alternative education establishments or deliverers of programmes for pupils who are disengaged from mainstream schooling. However, it would also offer a useful framework for dealing with smoking related issues within schools and other educational establishments. Instead of focusing on punitive measures to dealing with young people smoking within school buildings or grounds, the workshops is a way of offering a positive and solution based resolve to this issue. It is essential, however, that young people are not forced to attend the workshop as a punishment for smoking as this could ruin the ethos of a group. Pupils should express a desire to deal with the issue by engaging in this resource. Parents should also be consulted to ensure they are happy for participants to get involved.
The workshops are targeted for young people who are already smoking and are interested in gaining additional support to aid their attempts to stop. It can be lead by any staff member who is interested in offering a supportive and proactive role to dealing with the issue of smoking.
The workshops employ a number of activities from the structured lesson plans being offered in the main body of the pack. However, the core activity of the workshop group is to offer counselling and guidance to young people who are trying to stop smoking. It is essential that workshop leaders understand that their role is not a teaching position but rather a facilitator of the discussion and activities. Pupils must feel able to openly express their views and personal experiences relating to smoking without any fear of retribution from the school context.
Please be aware that the pack deals with sensitive issues relating to tobacco use. The lessons should be delivered by a staff member who knows the pupils well and is able to positively deal with issues as they arise. Regardless of a pupil’s personal situation, the danger of tobacco use is a fact and teachers should ensure that this message is not cushioned but presented openly and honestly. Support pupils to speak about their experiences of smoking and how this has impacted on them.
As is stated in the main introduction, the pack is designed to try and move away from the strong “Don’t Smoke” message which has been the focus of previous provisions. We want to engage the pupils with the issue, offering them relevant information about the impact that smoking is having on them and the methods they can use to get over their addiction.
We believe that by avoiding a judgemental and condemning attitude towards smoking; we will be able to offer young people the support, advice and information in order to make good personal decisions relating to smoking.
Two out of the six workshops require access to ICT for the group as a means of highlighting the range of ‘Stop Smoking’ resources available.
If you have any feedback or require any further support to help you deliver these lessons, please contact the Smoking Prevention and Education Programme Manager on SIYEmanager@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk