Bellshill teenager Jordan Linden has joined a pioneering Youth Commission which aims to ban anyone born today from ever buying cigarettes.
Appointed by Public Health Minister Michael Matheson MSP, and supported by Young Scot, 17 Youth Commissioners carried out extensive research to have their say in the Scottish Government Tobacco Control Strategy.
The Youth Commission gave its perspectives on how a smoke-free generation might be achieved by 2034 and issued strong recommendations.
These include a 50m smoking ban around public places, such as schools and hospitals, and establishing a social enterprise run by and for young people to deliver age appropriate smoking prevention events and support materials.
They also called on the Scottish Government to support a proposed Members’ Bill to ban smoking in cars and increase the age limit for buying tobacco to 21 years old.
In 2031 they wish a ban on anyone born after 2013 from buying tobacco, while e-cigarettes would only be distributed for medicinal purposes.
Jordan said: “Smoking is a large issue where I come from so this Youth Commission means a lot to me.
“I found it really interesting learning about all the different strategies that Government have used in order to combat smoking.
“This means there is plenty of scope for us to push further on this matter.
“If I had to pick one recommendation which I am passionate about it would be promoting self-confidence and self-esteem in classes in school.
“I think this would help people to stop thinking they have to do certain things to fit in at school with their friends or a certain group of people.
“I have loved working with the commission and have gained lots of confidence and, of course, made new friends and learned lots.”
Michael Matheson said: “To achieve Scotland’s vision for a tobacco-free country by 2034, it’s vital we involve young people in helping create an environment that supports them to choose not to smoke.
“The Youth Commission has produced some bold ideas for us to consider, something that is really important as we start to think about what we need to be doing beyond our current five-year plan.
“Young people are directly affected by smoking, so must be part of the solution.”