There were no “butts” when S1 pupils at Whitehill Secondary School, were asked to take part in this year’s Smoke-Free Class competition.
Class 1.2’s positive attitude and commitment to remaining smoke-free has won the pupils a top prize of a four-day trip to London in June. The prize for all 30 youngsters also includes a trip on the London eye, a boat trip on the River Thames, Entry to the London Dungeon and BBC Experience, a visit to Thorpe Park and also a trip to the theatre.
Whitehill Secondary school were one of 53 Greater Glasgow and Clyde schools to sign up to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Smoke-Free Class Competition.
The competition, which runs each year from November to March, encourages pupils to sign a monthly declaration pledging to remain smoke-free. In order to enter 90% of the class must opt into the competition and 80% must remain smoke free to allow the class to continue to participate.
In exchange for making this positive lifestyle choice they receive a monthly newsletter offering participants quizzes, facts and relevant news stories. Rewards for positive behaviour include interactive competition prizes of shopping vouchers, small rewards such as pencils, pens and wristbands plus the chance to enter the grand prize draw.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health said: “Some 73% of Glasgow schools signed up for this excellent scheme. Research has shown that the competition is successful in delaying the onset of smoking in young people.
“Delaying onset is very important, as evidence shows that the younger a smoker starts, the more difficult it is to give up.
“The competition aims to discourage pupils from experimenting with tobacco, show that non-smoking is normal, and promote discussion about the benefits of remaining smoke-free. Next year I would urge even more schools to opt into this very worthwhile scheme which uses a social norms approach to helping our young people stay smoke-free.”
And the pupils are looking forward to their trip. Kieran Bell said: “FandabbydozeyI - we've been given a wonderful opportunity to see London”; Lauren Daldry added: “I'm really happy our class won the award. I can't wait to share all these experiences of London with my classmates” and Kajal Jassal commented: “The whole class is delighted to be chosen. What a great opportunity to visit so many exciting places with my friends”; and
Cooper McCallum summed up: “Really happy and excited - can't wait! We will learn so much”.
Notes to Editors: You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the Glasgow Science Centre on Friday, May 29 at 11.00am where the pupils will arrive at the ‘Wispering Dishes’ area.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.