Colleges aim anti-smoking drive at their students

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COLLEGE students have been told smoking is not as cool as they think as part of a new health campaign.

A survey at West Lothian College revealed that students there thought that around 60 per cent of their peers smoke.

But in reality the figure is around 30 per cent.

The smoking prevention initiative, set up in partnership with NHS Lothian and Solus Communications, hopes to end student misconceptions in relation to risk-taking behaviour.

Pupils at West Lothian College and Edinburgh College are being educated on the issues as part of a 16-week campaign, and have played a key role in its development by answering questionnaires and posing for photographs.

Mhairi Laughlin, principal of West Lothian College, said: “Previous research has shown that campaigns like this have had a positive effect on student health and college drop-out rates.

“The students have really embraced the campaign and were keen to appear in the photographs.”

Mandy MacKinnon, health promotion manager for NHS Lothian, said: “Our smoking cessation services will be providing advice for those who ­currently smoke to ensure a complete package of ­support for students.”