Kick Ash

The vast majority of smokers take up the habit as teenagers and many young people who smoke will continue to smoke for the rest of their lives. The earlier people start, the more likely they are to smoke longer and to die early as a result of smoking.

Kick Ash is a young person led smoking prevention programme running in Schools and Academies throughout Bedfordshire.  Young people in Year 10 are recruited to work as Kick Ash mentors to promote their ‘proud to be smokefree’ message. The Kick Ash mentors lead activities in their own schools and their partner middle schools to promote the health harms of smoking.  They encourgage and support young people who want to quit and act as smokefree role models, hoping to prevent younger children starting to smoke as they get older.

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The volunteers are encouraged to lead on Kick Ash activities to help develop their own confidence and their own awareness so they can make their own informed decisions about smoking and tobacco.

This greater confidence and personal awareness means they are able to support and influence other young people during mentoring activities and their friends in social situations about the importance of being smokefree.

Kick Ash mentors select one of three areas to specialise in, including communications, smoking cessation and Trading Standards.

As part of the communications team, our media stars:

  • Lead on designing, promoting and marketing our Kick Ash smokefree message
  • Develop our own branding
  • Lead on developing our own school launch event
  • Are trained to work with the media and to conduct their own interviews
  • Are the creative force behind Kick Ash!

As smoking cessation advisors:

  • We learn skills to help people who would like to stop smoking
  • We develop services within our schools that are most suitable for our own school
  • We design and develop information resources for students and parents
  • We are shaping young people’s stop smoking services across Bedfordshire

What do Kick Ash Trading Standards Tobacco Controllers do?

  • We visit shops with Trading Standards Officers to speak to the manager
  • We tell the shop manager all about Kick Ash
  • We help Trading Standards Officers give advice to shop managers about not selling tobacco to people aged under 18
  • We give shop managers useful materials, such as posters and stickers, to display

Kick Ash

An introduction to Kick Ash - find out more about the programme and what our mentors get involved in...

Watch video

Operation Smoke Storm

Young people in both Upper and Middle Schools in Bedfordshire can also take part in Operation Smoke Storm; a web based smoking prevention programme.

You can take part in the interactive sessions and become a spy in a tobacco company – going undercover to find out all their secrets!  Did you know tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals including rat poison and paint stripper? You can find out all this and much more by undergoing the secret missions on the programme.

What Schools are taking part?

At the moment the following upper schools/academies are either taking part in Kick Ash or about to:

  • Samuel Whitbread
  • Queensbury Academy
  • All Saints Academy
  • Academy for Central Bedfordshire

Middle Schools and Academies taking part in Operation Smoke Storm include:

  • Gilbert Inglefield Academy
  • Henlow Middle School
  • Robert Bloomfield School
  • Priory Academy

Did you know…

If you have a lung condition, you might feel that you have already damaged your lungs and that there is little point in giving up.

In fact, it is never too late to quit smoking, and giving up could help you to feel a lot better.  If you have a lung condition such as COPD, you are more likely to feel increasingly breathless if you smoke or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke.  Giving up smoking is the most important thing you can do to stop your condition getting worse.

By quitting, you can significantly slow down the speed at which you are losing lung function, and improve your quality of life, and that of those around you.

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