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Guernsey lags behind as children exposed to secondhand smoke in cars

Guernsey lags behind as children exposed to secondhand smoke in cars

Monday 20 February 2023

Guernsey lags behind as children exposed to secondhand smoke in cars

Monday 20 February 2023

Alarming statistics show nearly one in ten teenagers are still being exposed to secondhand smoke in cars.

Guernsey lags behind other jurisdictions who have outlawed smoking in vehicles when under-18s are present.

Jersey, England and Wales made it illegal in 2015, with Northern Ireland doing so last year.

The Young People’s Survey 2022 quizzed 1,300 pupils in Years 6, 8 and 10 on topics including drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex and relationships, sport and physical activity participation, food and health, and emotional health.

9% of pupils in Year 8 and Year 10 said that someone in a car smokes when they are in it, while the figure was 6% in Year 6.

Deputy Andy Cameron has campaigned to see action to help cut the number of young people vaping.

He is also concerned about smoking statistics.

“7% of pupils responded that someone smokes indoors at home in rooms that they use, and 9% of pupils responded that someone smokes in a car when they are in it too, this really needs to be highlighted, I find it hard to believe that this is remotely acceptable.”

Deputy Andy Cameron

He said that it was shocking that 7% of Year 6 students have tried vaping, and 58% of Year 10 girls have tried vaping. 

“This survey is coming up to a year old now, I think it fair to assume that these figures have likely increased as they have in the UK.”

Action is expected on vaping.

“I have been assured by Health & Social Care that the wheels are in motion with regards to regulation of vaping, while the UK Home Office together with other UK Ministries are considering a full review regarding the regulation of vaping products.”

Alun Williams, Be Active lead at the Health Improvement Commission, has managed the survey on behalf of Education for more than 20 years.

“80 plus questions were asked about aspects of young people’s lives, so the survey provides a wealth of information about the views, attitudes, and behaviours of young people,” he said.

“The most important aspect of the survey is the rich data that the survey provides schools and education services. Over the years we have seen how this has shaped policy and practice in shaping young people’s lives. 

“The survey results have been shared with all schools and we know that they have scrutinised their reports to reflect on their students’ recent experiences. It is also a valuable opportunity to hear the voice of young people. As always there are some areas for concern and experience tells us that these issues are best addressed through a community response.”

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