Communicating with parents and carers

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There is strong evidence that parental smoking is an important factor in whether or not a young person becomes a smoker themselves. In addition to this, there is a strong link between the impact of secondhand smoke in the home and the health of a child.

Whilst schools should keep in mind that parents/carers have a personal choice to smoke, it can be helpful to let families know about the local services that exist to help them to quit. Families should know that the school is adopting a proactive approach to becoming smokefree.

The template letter in the resources section can guide schools on how to raise the topic with parents/carers. Take care to check that the details of the stop smoking service are current and consider timing of letters. It may be helpful to tie the message in with the launch of a policy or a national campaign.

Schools may also choose to run some information sessions for parents. The presentation in the resources section may help you to do this.