Following last weeks' Budget statement, Susan Deacon, the Health Minister, promised to place the health of children and young people at the centre of many reforms.
Picking up the theme, Martin Raymond, the Health Education Board's public affairs spokesman, said: "We are starting to make progress and this gives us the opportunity to continue and broaden the work we are doing."
Mr Raymond added: "Health is too mportant to be left to the Health Service. Schools are one of the key partners."
One option would be to target young smokers following the success of anti-smoking campaigns with adults. "We would want to try and discourage teenagers from starting and help them to stop. A lot of teenagers feel addicted, dependent and would like to stop. One of the challenges is how you give up," he said.
The new public health institute, announced by Ms Deacon, will work alongside the board and would monitor and track public health issues, Mr Raymond said. Its task was not to run campaigns or work with schools.