Irish teenagers taking on the BIG tobacco industry have the power to become the country’s first tobacco-free generation, a campaign group has claimed. The Irish Cancer Society hailed the X-Generation as it honoured youth groups from around the country for mounting anti-smoking campaigns aimed at their peers as part of its pioneering X-Hale initiative. Figures show youth smoking rates are falling, with almost nine out of 10 young people now smoke-free. Over a fifth were considered ‘current smokers’ in 1998 compared to just over a tenth in 2010, a reduction of nearly half.
“In line with the messages the young people taking part in X-Hale have highlighted, youth smoking rates in Ireland have continued to decline in recent years, giving this generation of young people the power and the opportunity to make sure that they are Ireland’s first tobacco-free generation,” the society said.
Its X-Hale initiative, which has been running for five years, has played a key role in driving down the rates of youth smoking. More than 41 youth groups took part in this year’s initiative, with films and community action projects designed to create awareness around the issue of smoking in their own communities. Cobh Youth Services in Co Cork came away with the top award in the Community Action category. Teens in the group created smoking prevention messages tailored specifically for young people, and developed a presentation, animation, and rap which they delivered in five primary schools in their area. Read full article