Prize-winning tale on dangers of smoking

Pupils with their winning book
Pupils with their winning book

A competition to name the cuddly character in a children’s story book which carries an anti-smoking message has been won by Lennoxtown pupils.

Primary classes across East Dunbartonshire took part in the ‘Jenny and Bear’ contest, which presents a tale about the dangers of second hand smoke.

The Primary One pupils from St Machan’s Primary were judged as the winners after coming up with the name “Princess Sparkles”.

The children were presented with a class teddy called Princess Sparkles, individual certificates and smaller teddy bears by Karyn McWilliam, Health Improvement Practitioner for the East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership.

The story begins with Jenny being bought the bear as a treat from her Granny, and goes on to describe how her parents’ smoking at home and in the car makes her cough.

The bear’s nose becomes blocked and his throat feels very jaggy. Towards the end of the story, Jenny’s cough is so bad that her mother takes her to their GP who suggest that her parents stop smoking in their home.

Sandra Cairney, Head of Strategy, Planning & Health Improvement for East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership, congratulated the pupils.

She said: “The idea is that the story book is taken home not just for parents to read to their children, but also hopefully for them to pick up on the message that smoking around their children can cause health problems.”

The book also offers advice on where to find help if people want to stop smoking by calling Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84 or visit the website –

The project is part of the Scottish Government’s campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of second hand smoke exposure in the home and car, in particular towards children.