The Army Foundation College in Harrogate is to become smoke free.
The Commanding Officer, Lt Col R J Hall MBE YORKS has said that the decision has been made following discussion.
The College will be‘smoke free’ by early next year, with an implementation over two phases. Phase one will come into effect next week with a ban on smoking in the College and when deployed on training duty, for all Junior Soldiers. That includes a small number of Junior Soldiers that are over 18.
Phase 2 will be in 2020 and make the College a ‘smoke-free’ site.
Th Junior Soldiers are children and only a small number smoke before enlistment. It is illegal for them to buy cigarettes and they can be prosecuted for possession in a public place.
The Commanding Officer, Rich Hall as said that to facilitate Junior Soldiers to smoke seems ridiculous and it currently results in a situation where most Junior Soldiers smoke by graduation.
The Commanding Officer says he acknowledges that there is cultural aspect within the army around smoking, but the College needs to promote health, fitness, social mobility, training excellence, education, sport, role modelling and leadership – and that smoking just is not a natural bed fellow to any of that and is in direct conflict of many of their value.
The changes mean that staff are not permitted to smoke/vape on camp or visible to Junior Soldiers when deployed. It is also not a ban on smokers being assigned to the College, but the requirement of a commitment to demonstrate a healthy life-style.