Schools bid to stub out smoking

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The financial cost of smoking as well as the effect on health have been spelled out to

East Dunbartonshire pupils at a series of interactive workshops.

Pupils from seven primary and secondary schools across the region learned about the risks of smoking at Smokescreen, a day-long event exploring the links between tobacco and health.

One of the highlights of the day, staged at which was held at the New College Lanarkshire in Kirkintilloch. was “CSI Kirkintilloch”.

Participants were presented with the outline of a person who smoked 20 cigarettes daily for 20 years and were then tasked with identifying how tobacco contributed to his death.

They were also able to catch a grim look at what smoking is said to do to skin, thanks to the make- up artistry skills of college pupils who used clever “ageing” techniques.

Groups used maths to work out how much being a smoker costs, comparing it to sought-after

items such as smartphones and even a flat.

They also examined a display of the many chemicals added to cigarettes, “tar in a jar”, and a healthy/diseased lung display.

Pupils were also invited to use special straws to see how smoking affects the breathing, take part in a race on space hoppers and ride on a smoothie bike with members of the college’s Student Association.

The workshops were organised to mark national No Smoking Day 2017 by the college and East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP’s) Smokefree Services team.

Miranda Roy, an S1 pupil from Bishopbriggs Academy, said: “I found that the number of chemicals in cigarettes was really sickening, and the ageing process experiment was a sad surprise.”

HSCP Chair Councillor Rhondda Geekie said, “An average of 20 young people start smoking in Scotland every day, and around two thirds of regular smokers started before the age of 18.

“While the number of smokers is steadily falling, we still need to educate about the dangers.

“Our aim is for East Dunbartonshire to be “smoke free” by 2034.

“Smokescreen was a fantastic way to bring this vital health message to life in a fun and practical way, while complementing a range of lessons taught in the classroom.”