Teenage anti-smoking activists recognised recognised for their efforts (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Darlington School of Mathematics and Science anti-smoking activists recognised for their efforts
5:18pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
STUDENTS campaigning to see cigarettes go up in smoke are being recognised for their efforts as they strive to make tobacco a thing of the past.
A group of anti-smoking activists from Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS), who have already presented their findings to No 10 and Darlington Borough Council, have now been shortlisted for two top awards.
Students Liam Pape, Hannah Scott, Tom Towle, Ben Garget, all 14, and Emilie Williams, 13, have been nominated for the young person’s contribution to the community award in the Best of Darlington Awards and the contribution to the wider community at the Vibe Awards, which will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, March 13).
The pupils will also feature in an official video to be shown at a two day conference staged by Fresh, Smoke-Free North-East, as they voice their concerns and hopes to see tobacco a thing of the past.
DSMS is one of three North-East schools working with Fresh on the national conference video and Liam will address delegates in person in Durham.
Assistant headteacher Emma Hickerson said: “This all started as a class project which led to an initiative with Mount Pleasant Primary School where they worked with year five children on a script and short film documentary on smoking.
“Since then they have really got the bit between their teeth. In 2011 we took the campaign to 10 Downing Street to stop smoking in cars and it is great that all their hard work is now being recognised.”
The group has already claimed the runners up spot in the British Heart Foundation’s No Smoking Day Organiser of the Year Award.
Emilie said: “It’s no longer considered cool to smoke but children still start because their friends do it.”
The students’ research revealed that smoking remains the single biggest cause of unnecessary ill health and premature death through cancer, heart disease and stroke and costs the NHS £7bn a year.
A single cigarette contains up to 4,000 chemicals including almost 100 known carcinogens and they are believed to be so addictive that smokers are hooked by the time they have had just six.
The group is also working with Fresh on ideas to make cigarette packaging less appealing.