Free. Fair. Future. – a paradigm shift in tobacco and nicotine prevention for children and adolescents
Today, 22.5% of 15- to 19-year-olds in Switzerland smoke. A young person is exposed to incentives to use tobacco and e-cigarettes 68 times a day at weekends. Through its child and youth programme – Free. Fair. Future. – the Tobacco Prevention Fund (TPF) aims to make prevention efforts more effective and better protect children and young people. “Our vision is for children and young people in Switzerland to grow up without tobacco and nicotine and to make decisions free from outside influences, such as those of the tobacco industry,” says Peter Blatter, director of the Tobacco Prevention Fund.
Hard-hitting facts with ‘Transparency and Truth’
One of the core supporting measures of Free. Fair. Future. is the coordinated compilation of facts and studies. Under the leadership of Pascal Diethelm (president of OxySuisse), the ‘Transparency and Truth (TnT)‘ network shows how ubiquitous tobacco and nicotine products and smoking are in our everyday lives, the negative impacts they have, and how children and young people are deliberately influenced. “Transparency and Truth compiles facts and data about various topics to highlight how the tobacco and nicotine industry lacks transparency and is deceptive, and how its influence extends to prevention policy and its various actors in Switzerland,” says Pascal Diethelm.
A joint strategy is more powerful
The aim of Free. Fair. Future. is to take shared responsibility as a society for the health of young people. Children and young people who smoke or vape should no longer be seen as the norm. To achieve this, Free. Fair. Future. works closely with prevention actors and civil society, combining prevention measures of other actors in a common strategy. In this context, new and proven individual prevention schemes, such as Swiss Olympic’s ‘cool and clean’ are geared to the goals of Free. Fair. Future. “Prevention is not a sprint, but a marathon with many hurdles. It’s therefore key that we have a joint and targeted commitment to prevention and health on the part of all actors – from institutions and partners to ambassadors, and children and young people themselves,” says Roger Schnegg, director of Swiss Olympic.
Prevention in schools and recreational settings
Through ‘Fresh Air for Free’, Free. Fair. Future. continues to create tobacco- and nicotine-free public spaces where children and young people are not encouraged to smoke. These public spaces guarantee freedom from the health impact of smoking and second-hand smoke and reduce the environmental damage caused by cigarette butts.
In association with teachers and classes, éducation21 is also developing a new lesson programme for secondary schools which focuses on the topic of responsibility, both of individuals and of society as a whole.
To support the participatory approach, Free. Fair. Future. is currently allowing children and young people to help design a virtual platform. In future this is intended to be a space in which young people can engage with the topic in a light-hearted and informative way.
Today’s launch aims to encourage as many organisations and individuals as possible to subscribe to the vision, mission and idea of Free. Fair. Future. Because tobacco and nicotine prevention in children and young people remains the responsibility of the whole of society.
All information about the programme and ways of getting involved can be found at freefairfuture.ch
Media file with photos and video material: Link (additional materials for the media will be available online from 14:30)
Tobacco Prevention Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 58 462 95 05
About the Tobacco Prevention Fund
The costs resulting from alcohol and tobacco consumption amount to CHF 7.7 bn a year in Switzerland. The Tobacco Prevention Fund (TPF) was set up to fund evidence-based prevention measures to stop people taking up smoking, to help them quit, and to protect them from second-hand smoke. The Tobacco Prevention Fund is financed through a levy of 2.6 cents on every pack of cigarettes sold. When allocating funds, the Tobacco Prevention Fund is guided by the TPF Strategy, which is derived from the national NCD and addiction strategies. The Tobacco Prevention Fund has some CHF 13 million at its disposal every year.
Forty-five per cent of annual TPF receipts (CHF 5.5 million) are available to the youth programme Free. Fair. Future. On the basis of the TPF Ordinance, just under half of this is deployed in the area of sport and exercise. Free. Fair. Future. is led by a strategic steering body comprising representatives from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO), the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Public Health (GDK), Health Promotion Switzerland, the Federal Commission for Issues relating to Addiction and the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases (FCAND) and the TPF Expert Commission.