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 drive to encourage schools to implement evidence based health interventions, NHS Wiltshire offered Assist to Wiltshire schools in areas of high smoking prevalence.
The programme trains the most influential 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.
By the end of 2013 Assist had been delivered in 10 Wiltshire secondary schools, helping to further reduce the prevalence of smoking amonst Wiltshire school children.
Wiltshire's Assist Coordinator: Christina Gregory.
In Wiltshire the programme was delivered to young people by a team of youth workers, the Personal Development Education Adviser and a Stop Smoking Adviser.