Assist is an evidence based intervention that has been shown to reduce smoking amongst young people in the school setting. It has been recommended by NICE as an example of an effective peer-led intervention in the document "School-based interventions to prevent smoking".
Assist has been evaluated by a randomised controlled trial funded by the Medical Research Council. The trial found the Assist programme to be effective in reducing smoking prevalence over a two year period of follow-up, with the trial results published in The Lancet.
As part of a recent drive to encourage schools to implement evidence based health interventions, NHS Wiltshire has offered Assist to Wiltshire schools in areas of high smoking prevalence.
The programme trains year 8 pupils as peer educators to have informal conversations with other students about the risks of smoking and the benefits of being smoke free.
As of March 2013 Assist has been delivered in 8 Wiltshire secondary schools, with more to follow later this year.
Wiltshire's Assist Coordinator: Christina Gregory.
In Wiltshire the programme is delivered to young people by a team of youth workers, the Personal Development Education Adviser and a Stop Smoking Adviser.