A GROUP from the Borders has picked up an award at the Scottish Parliament for their efforts in tackling the harm caused by tobacco across the area.

Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership collected an award as part of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation. 

The initiative by health charity Action on Smoking and Health aims to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034, reducing the amount of those who smoke to less than 5%.

The Charter inspires organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

So far, one hundred organisations have pledged support for the Charter. These awards recognise the contributions these organisations are making in working towards a tobacco-free generation.

The Community Planning Partnership received their award from Colin Smyth, MSP for South Scotland at a Holyrood reception on Thursday, November 24, for their commitment to taking bold action to help Scotland achieve its tobacco-free goal.

The Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership were the first community planning partnership to sign up to the Charter.

Working closely with partners for the benefit of people in the Borders, they have created a local strategy involving the whole partnership in activity in support of the six Charter principles. 

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “ASH Scotland launched Scotland's Charter for a tobacco-free generation to help raise awareness of and deliver the worthwhile vision for putting smoking out of fashion for the next generation.

"In its first year, the response to the charter has been excellent. We now have one hundred organisations signed up to the Charter, and it is proving an effective way to bring people together and motivate organisations in the fight against tobacco and the harmful effects it has on children and young people.”

Dr Tim Patterson, Joint Director of Public Health in the Borders said: “Smoking affects everyone; it causes harm to not only smokers but those around them through second and third hand smoke.

"We have a duty of care to protect the health of people in the Borders and promote positive health behaviours. I'm delighted the group has been awarded for their efforts in trying to tackle harm caused by tobacco.”

Councillor Jim Brown, Chair of the Scottish Borders Community Planning Strategic Board, said: “In addition to the well-known health impacts, smoking is the second highest cause of house fires, so any reduction in smoking is to be welcomed and I am delighted that our partnership approach to this has been recognised.”