Teenager Nicola McFadyen will be making her voice heard across the continent after being chosen to represent youth-led pro-choice smoking information group W-West (Why Waste Everything Smoking Tobacco?) at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday 31st May.
Nicola, 15, was invited to speak at the World No Tobacco Day 2010: Setting the EU Tobacco Control Agenda event, alongside speakers such as Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg about W-West (Why Wqaste Everything Smoking Tobacco?) and their latest campaign, The Plain Truth, which aims to raise awareness of how tobacco companies use packaging & branding to attract young smokers to their brand.
The campaign will be launched on the same day outside Buchanan Galleries, Buchanan Street, in Glasgow City Centre. Young people will be invited to express their views on tobacco issues by contributing towards an 8’ x 4’ art board kindly supplied by Cardonald College and directed by artist Matthew Bloomer.
Michael Caine, 17, W-WEST member, said: “We think that dressing cigarettes up in tobacco packaging is like dressing a wolf up in sheep’s clothing. It’s really important that young people know what they’re smoking and aren’t just blinded by branding and packaging.”
W-West have also teamed up with Dr Crawford Moodie and colleagues from The Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University of Stirling to develop a survey which will explore young peoples’ attitudes to cigarette packaging.
Dr Moodie said: “During the Youth and Tobacco Conference in Edinburgh in March myself and a colleague were fortunate enough to meet up with the W-West group, who had informed us that they planned to carry out a survey concerned with cigarette packaging and young people, which is one of the Centre’s areas of interest. We decided to work together in order to maximise the findings and we very much look forward to finding out just how much tobacco packaging really affects the decisions that young people make and the possible benefits that plain packaging may have.”
Funded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, W-West is made up of both smokers and non-smokers. It aims to provide young people with easy access to the real facts about smoking, so that they can decide what is best for them.
Anyone living in Greater Glasgow and Clyde under the age of 18 is invited to sign up to W-WEST through its website, www.w-west.org.uk, where they will find a wide range of smoking information, from music videos to fast facts.
Once registered, recruits will receive regular updates reporting the latest smoking information and keeping them informed of W-WEST’s activities.
For more information, log on to www.w-west.org.uk or contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]