10 January 2013
DECIPHer ASSIST - reducing the uptake of smoking

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


By the age of 15, more than one in seven young people are regular smokers. A smoking prevention programme called DECIPHer-ASSIST has been running in Somerset over the last two year’s and there are a few places remaining for schools who wish to participate in the programme in this academic year.


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.


In Somerset we currently have seven schools taking part in the programme this academic year, but there are more spaces remaining on a first come first served basis.  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 07881 940316 or e-mail