§ Lord Rix
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will support their anti-smoking campaign with a health education programme in all schools aimed especially at younger pupils; and, if so, whether they will ensure that during such health education programmes young girls in particular are made aware of the addictive properties of tobacco and the consequent risks to babies of smoking during pregnancy.
§ The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)
Education will, of course, be a key component of the overall strategy to reduce smoking. Education about smoking is already a statutory requirement as part of National Curriculum science, which requires schools at successive key stages to teach pupils: about the harmful effects of tobacco; how smoking affects breathing; and about the effects of tobacco on body functions. The department has issued guidance to schools on their contribution towards ensuring that pupils are made aware of all the health risks associated with smoking, which may include information about the possible effects of smoking on pregnant women and their babies; and has published guidance to teachers on addressing smoking within the school curriculum and on appropriate education materials related to smoking. We are continuing to support drug education, including that about smoking, through the Standards Fund in 1998–99, building on the £18 million available for such work over the last three years through the Grants for Education Support and Training programme.