The STA Foundation


What is Smoking?

Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream.

What causes children/young people to smoke?

  • Peer pressure – giving into friends encouragement to smoke to fit in.
  • Parents smoke – children and young people follow modelled habits and behaviours.
  • Independence – gives the feeling of being grown up and independent.
  • Try – children and young people like to try things but do not always consider long term consequences
  • Feel good – the nicotine inside the cigarettes gives a “feel good” feeling.
  • Addiction – children and young people who start smoking can become addicted.

The effects of smoking:

  • Diseases – smoking can cause you to have debilitating diseases and effects your organs resulting in death.
  • Immune system – it will weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma.
  • Blood pressure – smoking will increase your blood pressure
  • Heart rate – smoking will raise your heart rate.
  • Blood vessels – they will tighten.
  • Blood – smoking will cause your blood to become stickier resulting in clots causing a stroke or a heart attack.
  • Infertility – smoking can cause infertility in women.
  • Stress and anxiety – the nicotine in cigarettes can cause stress and anxiety symptoms due to cravings.
  • Depression – smokers attempting to give up will experience withdrawal symptoms making it difficult resulting low mood.
  • Smell – smoking means having the smell of smoke in your clothes and on your breath.
  • Passive smoking – you will be responsible for others inhaling the smoke causing them to potentially have health problems because of this.

How can The STA Foundation help?

We will deliver a talk and a presentation at your organisation informing the recipients about smoking, its effects, who they can speak to and where help can be obtained.

Call us on freephone 0800 038 9807 or email on info@thestafoundation.org

Smoking statistics

  • The proportion of regular smokers increased with age; from less than 1% of 11 and 12 year olds, to 7% of 15 year olds. 
  • In the last year, 62% of pupils reported being exposed to second hand smoke in the home or in a car.
  • Pupils were more likely to smoke themselves if they lived in a household with other smokers; Regular smoking increased from 1% of pupils living with no other smokers, to between 6% and 7% of pupils who did live with other smokers.
  • 60% of regular smokers reported that they would find it very or fairly difficult to not smoke for a week, while 74% reported that they would find it very or fairly difficult to give up smoking altogether. (source: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-smoking/statistics-on-smoking-england-2019/part-4-smoking-patterns-in-children-copy)
  • Two thirds of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18. It is estimated that every year more than 205,000 children in the UK start smoking (Cancer Research UK, 2013).
  • Almost one in five 11-15 year olds report having smoked a cigarette at least once. This is the lowest level recorded since 1982. Eight percent of 15 year olds report smoking regularly. 22% had used e-cigarettes at least once and 10% smoked waterpipe tobacco (Shisha) at least once.
  • (source: http://www.slough.gov.uk/council/joint-strategic-needs-assessment/smoking—children-and-young-people.aspx)