Our unique smoking cessation project for young people, The Filter, is to finish at the end of this month after more than 5 years.
Originally launching in 2012 as a 3-year Big Lottery funded information and advice service, The Filter has worked with over 6,000 young people face-to-face and reached more than 100,000 online.
The project, which secured a further 2 years of funding from the Welsh Government, has also trained over 800 professionals and helped 300 youths to quit or dramatically reduce their smoking through its Commit to Quit programme.
As Wales’ only dedicated service supporting young people to quit smoking we are saddened to see this life-changing project cease. Since its inception when 11% of boys and 16% of girls aged 15 and 16 smoked at least once a week in Wales, we are now at a place where smoking is at an all-time low among this age group with 8% of boys and 9% of girls smoking regularly.
However, we must not forget that smoking rates among the ‘least deprived’ adults in Wales stands at 9%, versus 28% among the ‘most deprived’ – representing a 19% difference and an increase of 1% on last year. The young people we have been working with - usually from the less economically developed areas of Wales - must not be left behind and become part of these statistics in their future.
The Filter’s website will remain as a point of information and advice but its social media channels will no longer be used from Thursday 29th March.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the young people, professionals and most importantly our dedicated staff, past and present, who have made The Filter's success possible.