Smoking and the law

There are a number of laws relating to smoking that exist to protect children from harm and to improve the health of the population. Many of these relate to the sale of cigarettes and protecting people from secondhand smoke. It is important that young people know about these rules and understand why they exist. As young policy makers of the future, this is also an opportunity for them to consider rules which affect them at school. By understanding why the school has a no smoking policy, pupils are more likely to be compliant.

Since there have been a number of changes and addition to the laws on smoking over recent years, pupils can sometimes be confused. This lesson is an opportunity for clarification.

Purpose of session

To increase young people’s awareness of UK laws relating to smoking and the use of smoking policies in schools.

Key learning outcomes

  1. Give examples of at least 3 UK laws that relate to smoking.
  2. Give reasons why the UK has laws on smoking.
  3. Consider different approaches to tackling smoking in schools and express a personal opinion.
Stage 1 - Demonstrating knowledge

The UK Law on Smoking and Secondhand smoke

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector, Smoking and the law resource cards

Key learning outcome

Give examples of at least 3 UK laws that relate to smoking.
  • In pairs, ask pupils to think of as many UK laws on smoking as they can.
  • Take feedback from groups to collate laws.
  • Put pupils in pairs and present with smoking and the law resource cards (cut up and mixed up). Match the consequence and scenarios to the law.
  • Go through answers.

Stage 2 - Presenting New Information

Understanding the reason for laws.

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector, slides, Smoking Statement Resource.

Key learning outcome

Give reasons why the UK has laws on smoking.
  • Show selection of UK laws on Slides 5-7 and discuss
  • Why do pupils think the UK has laws on smoking? Discuss and summarise with Slide 8.
  • Ask pupils to discuss how effective they think laws have been at (a) preventing young people from starting to smoke and (b) encouraging people to stop smoking.
  • Use Smoking Statement Resource to ask pupils if they agree or disagree with statements related to smoking laws.

Stage 3 - Applying and reflecting

Evaluating the rules in their own environment.

Resources needed:

PowerPoint projector, slides, copy of school policy on smoking, Smoking and the Law Scenarios resource.

Key learning outcome

Consider different approaches to tackling smoking in schools and express a personal opinion.
  • Discuss that there is a difference between laws and rules. Refer to Slide 10 on this.
  • Present pupils with a copy of the school policy on smoking. Select appropriate areas of policy, such as consequences of breaking rules/support for stopping. Encourage opinion on policy
  • Put in small groups. Give scenario card resource to groups. Encourage pupils to work out how they think teachers should deal with each situation. Take feedback.

Further support

This lesson focuses on the UK law on smoking and the impact it has on smoking prevalence. A short reflection on previous learning on smoking would make a good introduction. Be aware that you may need to allocate time at the end of the session for any concerned pupils who have family members who smoke.

Further information

If pupils need further information about smoking in general you can direct them to the Hampshire NHS Stop Smoking Service, Quit4Life or The Filter for information about smoking for young people.