21 October 2014
Regional school wins state anti-smoking competition
Morawa District High School is the 2014 winner of the Heart Foundation’s Smarter than Smoking Project’s Critics’ Choice state prize.
The school was one of 173 which took part in the National competition launched on ‘World No Tobacco Day’ earlier this year.
More than 900 student votes were received from 39 metropolitan and regional schools in Western Australia.
The Critics’ Choice is part of a strategy to reduce the prevalence of tobacco smoking amongst young people.
The competition saw upper-primary and secondary students watching, rating and discussing anti-smoking television advertisements from around the world, then voting on the one most likely to prevent them from taking up smoking or encourage them to stop.
“Separation” was voted most popular anti-smoking television advertisement, receiving 31% of the total votes.
“My Year 8 students thoroughly enjoyed watching the anti-smoking television advertisements and deciding on one they thought really brought the message home to them,” Morawa District High teacher Sarah Osborn said.
“The competition initiated invaluable student discussion on aspects of life which are affected by smoking and made students think deeper and personally about how these advertisements make them feel about smoking and the healthy choices they are making in their lifestyle,” she said.
Smarter than Smoking Project Manager Natalie Quinn thanked all the schools that participated in The Critics Choice competition The winning school was drawn at random from the pool of entries, and will receive a $500 voucher to buy a camera for their Health and Physical Education Department to capture students participating in extra-curricular activities and carnivals.
The Critics’ Choice is an initiative coordinated annually by the Australian Network on Young People And Tobacco (ANYPAT) as part of a strategy to reduce the prevalence of tobacco smoking amongst young people.
In Australia, more than 80% of smokers start before they turn 18 – the average age of uptake is around 16.
Implemented by the Heart Foundation, and funded by Healthway, Smarter than Smoking is a long-term, comprehensive and sustained approach to prevent smoking among young people in WA.