Tobacco tax to help fund toddlers' tuck

25th August 2000 at 01:00
TAXES on cigarettes are to fund more healthy breakfasts and snacks in schools, Susan Deacon, the Health Minister, has decreed.

Toddlers in deprived areas will also be offered an apple a day to improve up their diet and toothbrushes and paste to fight decay.

Mrs Deacon said a major thrust of the Scottish Executive's annual additional pound;26 million in tobacco taxes would be spent on pre-five and school-age children.

She revealed health boards would be asked to expand the number of school breakfast clubs.

Fruit and salad bars would be promoted as an alternative to the trditional sweet-laden tuck shop.

And a major media campaign and health promotion drive would try to cut teenage smoking, targeted at girls who smoke, and disadvantaged young people.

A new initiative, involving a confidential helpline, will attempt to cut the high suicide rate among young men. Around 300 take their own lives each year.

Mrs Deacon said: "We will push ahead with plans which will turn our playgroups, schools, and our workplaces into healthier and health-promoting environments."

The toddlers' fresh fruit initiative will be run by health boards.

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