The Scottish Borders has one of the highest levels of teenage smokers in Scotland, according to a Scottish Government survey that has been published.
Regular smoking by 15- year- olds ranges from 5% to 13% across Scottish local authorities – with 10% of Borders teenagers lighting up, down from 15% in 2002.
Only Fife, Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway having worse figures.
Dr Tim Patterson, joint director of public health for the Scottish Borders said: “Smoking remains a public health issue. NHS Borders continue to work in partnership with Scottish Borders Council to educate everyone on the damaging effects smoking can have on their health, including children and young people.
“It is encouraging that the rate of regular smoking among 15- year -olds in Borders is dropping steadily.
“NHS Borders will continue to work on tobacco prevention, in partnership with schools, college and youth services across Borders to encourage young people, their families and local communities to achieve a smoke free Scottish Borders.”
John Lamont MSP said: “Smoking is still a huge public health issue and despite recent progress we are still struggling in the Borders to stop youngsters sparking up.”