Children as young as 12 are being given nicotine patches as part of a national bid to help them quit smoking.
Health advisers are being sent into schools to conduct ‘Support to Stop Smoking’ sessions with the schoolchildren.
The children - between the ages of 12 and 17 - are then offered vouchers which can be used to 'buy' nicotine replacement products such as lozenges and patches at pharmacies.
The legal age to buy cigarettes is 18.
NHS guidelines say children as young as 12 can access nicotine patches from chemists and GPs throughout the country, but that it is at the discretion of individual primary care trusts which services they offer.
The project is already underway at schools in North Somerset.
Nailsea School holds quit smoking sessions on Tuesdays, which are led by the school’s first aider, who has undergone the smoke free training.
Becky Pollard, director of public health at NHS North Somerset, which took over responsibility for public health in April, said: 'We are delighted that the school is committed to providing this valuable service.
'Young people can become addicted to tobacco very easily, and this can affect their ability to concentrate, as well as leading to them to smoke on site and can result in smoking-related exclusions.
NHS guidelines say children as young as 12 can access nicotine patches from chemists and GPs
'Smokefree North Somerset works closely with schools providing programmes that prevent the uptake of smoking in young people and supporting schools to support young people who smoke.
'The service is based on behavioural support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which is available for young people aged 12 and over as recommended in the NICE guidance.
'NRT is usually via patches and lozenges as gum is not acceptable in schools.'
The service, which is being run by the council’s Smoke Free North Somerset team, has been offered to all secondary schools and academies across the district.
So far Nailsea School, Gordano School in Portishead and Hans Price Academy in Weston-super-Mare have signed up.
As well as the nicotine therapy, students work with advisors to learn about the health dangers of smoking.
Statistics by charity Cancer Research show an estimated 545 young people start smoking in North Somerset each year.
Councillor Reyna Knight, North Somerset Council assistant executive member for public health, said: 'If we can intervene early and stop children from developing a smoking habit it will prevent problems in the long term, not only for their health but also for the NHS.
'Also if children are in class and craving a cigarette, they will not be concentrating on the work they are supposed to be doing.'