Art Attack’s Lloyd Warbey is encouraging schools across the Midlands to get their pupils involved in a national poster competition which is to be judged by the presenter ahead of No Smoking Day on the 12 March.
Children between the ages of six and twelve are being asked to get creative and start designing posters which bring the campaign’s ‘V for Victory’ theme alive, as it gets set to inspire hundreds of thousands of people to win the battle against cigarettes and give them up for good.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) which runs the campaign is encouraging teachers to use the poster competition as an opportunity to talk their pupils about the dangers of smoking and addiction from an early age.
Around 200,000 children and young people in the UK start smoking each year while almost half of regular smokers will die because of their addiction to tobacco. This highlights the importance of spreading messages as early as possible about the risks.
The winning pupil will receive a t-shirt sporting their own poster design and £200 worth of vouchers for their school, which is almost as much as an average smoker will spend on cigarettes in a month.
Art Attack presenter Lloyd Warbey, who will be judging entries, said: “I was shocked to learn about the amount of young people still starting to smoke every year despite the health risks.
“Art is a brilliant way of engaging children in a subject of this kind so I hope many schools get involved in the competition this year. It will encourage children to get creative and consider how harmful smoking is and how difficult it can be to stop once you become addicted.
“I’m delighted to be raising awareness about the No Smoking Day and I’m looking forward to judging all the posters and picking out a winner.”
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF said: “Smoking kills yet children are still starting every year. Schools play an important part in helping us to spread the No Smoking Day message.
“The campaign provides teachers with a great opportunity to talk to young people in a fun and engaging way about the risks of smoking and hopefully this year’s competition will help highlight the nature of this deadly addiction and discourage children from ever trying a cigarette.”
Entries will be accepted from individuals or groups of children until February 26th, when judging will begin. All posters must contain the words ‘No Smoking Day’ and a mention of this year’s theme ‘V for Victory’.
All entries including entrant’s details should be sent to: ‘No Smoking Day Competition’, Freepost Plus RSAC-ZHER-YTZL, British Heart Foundation, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW.
Over ten million people in the UK smoke but research shows two-thirds want to give up (3). Last year No Smoking Day encouraged a million smokers to make a quit attempt.
More information on the schools poster competition can be found at nosmokingday.org.uk/education.
Schools can join on twitter by using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay and download our free organiser’s pack including posters, leaflets and a handbook at nosmokingday.org.uk.