How To Say No Without Losing Face

  • Tips for saying no when the pressure is on
  • Peer Pressure


Year: Year 7–8, Year 9–10, Year 11–12
Targeted Drugs: ,


National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC). 


Video length: 2 minutes, 10 seconds. 

This video is developed to provide young people with strategies for resisting perceived pressure from friends to use cannabis. The cartoon-style short video outlines five tips for handling difficult situations relating to drug use. In each scenario, characters demonstrate a number of resistance skills, including:

  • Being assertive in saying 'no';
  • Being honest about your reason for not wanting to participate;
  • Suggest doing something else;
  • Being ‘a broken record’ and repeating your position;
  • Make a quick exit if they do not listen.

Expected Benefits

  • Knowledge of ways to handle difficult situations relating to drug use.

Evidence Base

Expert Review*:
Developed by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), How to Say No Without Losing Face is a short video that provides guidance for young people on effective communicative strategies and assertiveness. The video presents a number of plausible and evidence-informed “face-saving” options for refusing offers to use cannabis in common peer situations. Although the content focuses on cannabis, the strategies are applicable to making assertive choices about alcohol and other drug use more broadly. The video features engaging animation and conveys information in a relatable, non-sensationalist way. The video is particularly relevant to Australian curriculum items that address assertive decision making.  

* Review provided by researchers at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.

Page last reviewed: 7 November 2019.