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SmokeFree Sports Project Report

Foweather, L and Hilland, T and Romeo-Velilla, M and McGee, C and Parnell, D (2011) SmokeFree Sports Project Report. [Report]

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Abstract

Children and young people are amongst the most vulnerable groups in society and are highly susceptible to smoking experimentation and addiction. In Liverpool, smoking prevalence is significantly higher than the UK average. Therefore early intervention strategies are required for smoking prevention and cessation. Research has found a negative association between smoking and physical activity. SmokeFree Sports aims to explore whether physical activity and sport can be used to promote the smoke free message to children and young people. SmokeFree Sports is an innovative multi-dimensional campaign that incorporates social-marketing strategies alongside the provision of sports and physical activities to: a) de-normalise smoking among youth b) empower youth to stay smoke free, and c) increase awareness of the dangers of smoking using positive messaging through the medium of sport and physical activity. This project is delivered across Liverpool and aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking and prevent the uptake of smoking in children and young people. The initiative, which is managed by Liverpool John Moores University in partnership with Liverpool PCT, employs a variety of strategies to promote and deliver the smoke free message to children and young people including a) training sports coaches and teachers to deliver the smoke free message, b) delivering SFS messages in schools and youth clubs through sport and physical activity, c) asking children to sign a pledge to be smoke free, d) support voluntary sports clubs to adopt a smoke free policy on their playing fields, e) encouraging organizations and individuals interested in health and sport to sign up to the SmokeFree Sports Charter and f) signposting children to smoking cessation services.

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