Community groups invited to access ASH Scotland’s free e-learning course spotlighting the impacts of smoking

12 December 2022

ASH Scotland is encouraging members of community groups and charities to access a new free e-learning course developed by the health charity to increase awareness about the impact of smoking in Scotland’s areas of high deprivation.

The course helps learners to understand the links between smoking and poverty, know more about how tobacco exacerbates health inequalities and gain increased confidence to raise the issue of smoking with people they support.

The costs of smoking falls most heavily on people in communities that are struggling against poverty and inequality, with evidence showing that residents in Scotland’s most deprived areas are considerably more likely to smoke than those in affluent areas.

The harm caused by tobacco is a major factor in the life expectancy gap of 13 years for men and 10 years for women between those living in the most and least deprived areas.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: ‚ÄúAddiction is not a lifestyle choice ‚Äď it is a public health concern and a social justice issue ‚Äď and people experiencing poverty are just as likely to want to quit smoking as anyone else. ASH Scotland wants to ensure that people facing everyday stresses and challenges in our poorest communities are empowered to seek support to give up using tobacco.

‚ÄúMembers of local community organisations and charities are well placed to compassionately encourage family, friends and neighbours to consider quitting smoking. We trust the wealth of information in our new ‚ÄėSmoking in Scotland‚Äôs Areas of High Deprivation‚Äô e-learning module will be helpful for approaches to start sensitive conversations in empathetic and supportive ways about the many benefits of giving up smoking.‚ÄĚ

The module, as well as other free ASH Scotland training and service resources, is available at the charity’s e-learning portal here.

ASH Scotland is tackling tobacco head-on by playing a leading part in campaigning to reduce the harms caused by smoking. For more information, follow the health charity’s social media channels at www.instagram.com/ash.scotland and www.twitter.com/ASHScotland or email: enquiries@ashscotland.org.uk