6 May 2014
DECIPHer-ASSIST - last few places remaining

DECIPHer-ASSIST reducing the uptake of smoking – last few places remaining


The DECIPHer-ASSIST programme has been running in Somerset for over three years, with over 650 young people receiving the peer supporter training.


The programme uses peer influence in a positive way to persuade Year 8 children not to smoke. It targets young people in this age group, in particular, because they are seen as being at the ‘pre-experimentation’ stage and therefore, the ideal age for prevention measures to work.


ASSIST uses existing social networks to encourage informal conversations about the benefits of being smoke free. Young people identify the most influential peers in their year group through answering questions about trust, respect and leadership.


The most influential 18% of students are then given comprehensive training covering topics including health, the environment, the law, the real cost of smoking, quitting and second hand smoke. This enables them to fulfil the role of Peer Supporter within the school environment by providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding. Each student who completes the course receives a certificate for their Record of Achievement.


“The course was really informative, and I still remember most of the things I learned, because they were taught in an interactive and interesting way. Also, from the course, I got more confident with approaching people and handling what could be difficult situations, I use these skills every day and they're something that has already helped me a lot, including situations not related to smoking at all. In general the course was a fun, hands on experience, and I walked away knowing so much more than I did before, without even realising that I had been learning so much. The environment was relaxed and friendly which made it easy and enjoyable to learn. When I came to talk to people about smoking, I found the people I spoke to reacted well to the knowledge I showed and the way I approached them, they seemed interested and comfortable whilst discussing a potentially awkward or sensitive topic.”
Year 8 Peer Supporter at The Blue School Wells, 2013


There is still time to register interest in the programme for 2014/15 with limited spaces remaining. There is no cost to schools to implement the programme, and minimal input is required by the nominated contact teacher.


If you would like more information about the programme, or to register to take part please contact Nicola Crocker on 07990 084109 or e-mail