Seven  primary schools have each won a new iPad in a ‘Snap the Cig’ photo competition.

They are: Hill Croft School, Newtownabbey, Portrush PS, Brackenagh West PS in Kilkeel, St Patrick’s Ballynahinch, St Joseph’s, Crumlin, Rasharkin PS and Cooley PS, Omagh. This is the second year that Brackenagh West has scooped an iPad.

Hundreds of primary school pupils entered the competition which was run by leading local charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland with the support of the Public Health Agency (PHA) as part of the multi-agency Tobacco Control strategy in Northern Ireland.

The aim of the competition was to encourage as many children as possible to take part in the campaign for a smokefree future. Entrants were asked to snap a photo on the themes of smokefree cars, smokefree grounds or stopping smoking.

Gerry McElwee, Head of Cancer Prevention at Cancer Focus NI, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. We were delighted with the enthusiasm and creativity of the young people who are all members of our Smokebusters programme. We can clearly see that many are aware of the dangers of smoking and the benefits of staying smokefree, which is excellent news.

“This is such an important subject and this competition is a first-class way to make the children think about some of the issues and encourage them to stay away from cigarettes.”

Des Garland, Health and Wellbeing Improvement Officer with the PHA, said: “Many smokers began smoking in their teens or younger, so it’s extremely important to discourage young people from starting to smoke in the first place.

“It is our hope that through programmes like Smokebusters and by working with our colleagues in education we can reduce the number of children that may start smoking, and increase awareness of the negative effects of smoking and tobacco products. This is one part of a multi-faceted approach to reducing harm from tobacco.”

If you would like Cancer Focus NI to visit your school with any of its education programmes including Smokebusters please call the charity on Tel: 028 9066 3281 or visit cancerfocusni.org

A selection of the photos are displayed on the Cancer Focus NI website (www.cancerfocusni.org/snap-the-cig) and on the charity’s Facebook, @cancerfocusni

Image caption: Pupils from across Northern Ireland each received a new iPad from Naomi Thompson, Cancer Focus NI,  for their school for their entries in the ‘Snap the Cig’ photo competition. The competition aimed to encourage pupils to take part in the campaign for a smokefree future.

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