About this Guide

This resource is designed to support practitioners deliver appropriate PSE in conjunction with their learners in light of the Scottish Government PSE Review (2019). You may with to look at the information about cocreation in the activity section, along with the associated benchmarks, to support your learners build on their existing knowledge and understanding of this topic. This suggested Smoking content will support practitioner work with their learners to develop the curriculum to suit their local context and meet the relevant age and stage of development for children and young people with regard to Substance Misuse.

Suggested Experiences & Outcomes

Mental & Emotional Wellbeing


I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances.

HWB 3-04a

I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within and around me. This helps me to understand my own behaviour and the way others behave.

Physical Wellbeing

HWB 3-15a

I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health.

HWB 3-16a

I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.

HWB 3-17a

I know and can demonstrate how to keep myself and others safe and how to respond in a range of emergency situations.

Health & Wellbeing

HWB 3-38a

I understand the positive effects that some substances can have on the mind and body but I am also aware of the negative and serious physical, mental, emotional, social and legal consequences of the misuse of substances.

HWB 3-39a

I know that popular culture, the media and peer groups as well as my own attitudes and values can influence how I feel about substance use and recognise the impact this may have on my actions.

HWB 3-40a

I am developing a range of skills which can support decision making about substance use. I can demonstrate strategies for making informed choices to maintain and improve my health and wellbeing and can apply these in situations that may be stressful or challenging, or involve peer pressure.

HWB 3-40b

I know how to access information and support for substance-related issues.

HWB 3-41a

After assessing options and the consequences of my decisions, I can identify safe and unsafe behaviours and actions.

HWB 3-41b

I know that the use of alcohol and drugs can affect behaviour and the decisions that people make about relationships and sexual health.

HWB 3-42a

I know the action I should take in the management of incidents and emergencies related to substance misuse.

HWB 3-43a

I understand the impact that ongoing misuse of substances can have on a person’s health, future life choices and options.

HWB 3-43b

Through investigating substance misuse in my local community I can reflect on specific issues, and discuss how they are being addressed.

Associated Benchmarks

  • Explains the benefits of substances in supporting good health, for example, prescribed medication.
  • Gives examples of current laws and advice in relation to substance use, for example, units of alcohol, tobacco sales.
  • Explains how media and peer pressure might affect own attitudes and behaviour.
  • Identifies and selects the skills / qualities required to make positive choices in challenging situations, for example, confidence, resilience, assertiveness.
  • Gives examples of positive coping strategies when dealing with stressful and challenging situations, for example, walk away, talk to friend / adult, physical activity.
  • Knows how to access local support services
  • Weighs up risk and identifies potential safe and unsafe behaviours and actions, for example, the impact of gambling.
  • Explains how substance misuse can affect judgement and impair ability to make responsible decisions, for example, unwanted sexual experiences.
  • Know actions to be taken in an emergency relating to substance misuse.
  • Identifies potential impact of short and long term substance use.
  • Identifies local substance misuse issues and how they are being addressed.

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • to learn how to assess and manage risk to make informed choices
  • to develop understanding of the impact of substances on the mind and body
  • to investigate substance mis/use in the local environment

Suggested Success Criteria (I Can…)

  • explain and discuss the impact of substance misuse on health and wellbeing
  • discuss and demonstrate strategies I could use to make informed choices in stressful/challenging situations
  • identify my feelings and explain how these can affect my behaviour

Suggested Learning Experiences

These suggested activities/tasks are for group work within a classroom and target holistic/generic/universal needs of learners. You should select activities/tasks that are most relevant to the needs of your learners and school community. Please use your professional judgement as to how best to deliver these types of activities/tasks sensitively/appropriately with your learners and which other staff may also be able to provide support/differentiation to meet their needs.

What do we know?

Discuss with learners about what they already know about tobacco/smoking. These resources from Ash Scotland , LANDED and Healthy and Smoke Free have information about smoking such as what is tobacco? what is second hand smoke? what are the affects on the body?You could use the e-cigarette and vaping task in the Download section to stimulate discussion. Learners could explore the different information – where has this come from? How do we know it is reliable/true? What articles of UNCRC are relevant? Why? You could facilitate discussion about what learners know about the law and tobacco. What do they know? How have they found out?

What do we need to know?

You could use the Ash Scotland PPT Understanding Nicotine Addiction, or information from LANDED to discuss what chemicals are in cigarettes, how these affect the body/mind, addiction and stopping smoking. Discuss the key points and share with others why you think these points are important. Learners could then explore how advertising impacts on views on smoking – where do you see adverts? What do you think of them? (This may link with previous work from Second Level topics in primary school around positive choices, judgements, peer pressure).

These You tube clips may be of interest: Every time you smoke your blood gets thick and dirty with toxins (30 seconds) and Quitting smoking timeline (4 mins).

What’s happening here/locally? What could we do next?

What local issues do we have about smoking? Vaping/e-cigs, environmental issues, UNCRC, money?
Learners could explore Ash Scotland’s Mental health scenarios and think about what they would do and explain why with others. What support services are in this area? Who would you contact? Discuss why you might use a support service. [Information in External Links and report on the Take It Right Outside Campaign may also be of interest.]