A NEW campaign against adults who buy cigarettes for young people has been launched in Clydebank.

West Dunbartonshire’s trading standards officers are backing the fight to further reduce the proportion of youngsters who smoke.

Statistics show 36 young people under age 16 take up smoking every day in Scotland, getting cigarettes mostly from friends, family or other adults, many of whom think they are “doing them a favour”.

The Not A Favour campaign makes it clear adults are helping young people into addiction, ill health and financial problems.

Three pupils from St Peter the Apostle High who are members of West Dunbartonshire Youth Alliance helped kick off the campaign locally.

Councillor Ian Dickson, convener of corporate services at West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “In Scotland, we’ve made great progress on reducing the number of people who smoke. However, there are still too many young people taking up the habit.

“Adults sometimes buy cigarettes for those who are too young to legally do so themselves and that is something that simply has to stop.”

Councillor Iain McLaren, vice convener, added: “This campaign aims to push home the message that smoking can lead to health, money and addiction problems and that the younger people start smoking, the harder they find it to give up later in life. We really want to keep tobacco out of the hands of young people.”

Tony Cairns, trading standards service co-ordinator, added: “West Dunbartonshire trading standards has worked over several years with health and education partners, as well as the police, on a number of initiatives designed to ensure that sellers of tobacco meet their legal obligations and our citizens are fully aware of the issues around smoking.

“We are delighted to participate in this national campaign and lend our further support to the fight to prevent young people from getting hooked on tobacco.”

The campaign has been developed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, with Scottish Government funding and strong support from trading standards representatives.

It is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18 and research shows adolescents get addicted to nicotine faster than adults.