Where does smoking fit into your PSHE curriculum? Ian Macdonald offers some pointers and discusses the skills that anti-smoking lessons can foster in pupils

Building resilience to peer pressure and having the confidence to say “no” can be invaluable life-skills for all young people.

As a PSHE teacher, your students will be faced by an increase in cyber-bullying, body image worries and a host of other issues, so you may feel like smoking is less of a concern than it was in previous years.

However, in my experience, lessons on smoking can act as a useful opportunity for class discussions about how to avoid peer pressure, in turn helping schools to encourage positive behaviours that apply to a range of PSHE curriculum topics.

The rate of young people who smoke has been steadily decreasing for a number of years. In 2016, NHS figures show that seven per cent of 15-year-olds said that they smoked regularly, the lowest recorded level since 1982 (25 per cent). However, we know that smoking among young people increases with the number of smokers in the home.

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