Warwickshire youngsters help county to stub-out smoking near schools

Schools in Warwickshire are hoping to persuade parents not to smoke outside the school gates when taking their children to and from school by introducing Smoke-free zones with the help of some artistic pupils. Designs from two children are being used by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for ‘smoke-free zone’ posters on school railings throughout the county. Their installation coincides with national ‘No Smoking Day’ on March 13th – an annual health awareness day to help smokers who want to quit smoking.

The winning designs were selected by WCC Portfolio Holder for Health and Adult Social Care Cllr Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Jeff Morgan and Deputy Director of Public Health Helen King. A total of 30 entries were received from 15 schools with Ruby (Year 2 at Exhall Cedars Infant School) and Amelia (Year 6 at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Studley) having their creations chosen for the final posters. They each received £100 for their class to spend as they wish.

Talking about the posters Cllr Caborn said:

“We all know that quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. What we want to achieve through installing these signs is to prevent every child from having that first cigarette to help protect their health. By stopping smoking near school gates, it helps to make smoking invisible to children and reduces their chance of trying it for themselves.”

Cllr Morgan added:

“It was fantastic to see so many entries from Warwickshire pupils, the creativity and thought that went into every one of their designs was incredible. I hope that the messages will resonate with people dropping off and picking up children and encourage people to consider their smoking habits around young people.”

For those who would like to stop smoking, you are four times more likely to quit for good with the help of a trained Stop Smoking Advisor. There is support available in Warwickshire – go to quit4good.warwickshire.gov.uk to find out more.