Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pupils Know the Answers When It Comes to Smoking; Children Have Been Getting Creative to Help Spread the No-Smoking Message. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Investigates in Association with the NHS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pupils Know the Answers When It Comes to Smoking; Children Have Been Getting Creative to Help Spread the No-Smoking Message. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Investigates in Association with the NHS

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

HOW many toxic chemicals does each cigarette contain?

a) 10, b) 400, c) 2,000, d) 4,000.

Do you need to phone a friend, go 50/50 or maybe you'd like to ask the audience?

A special Who wants To Be A millionaire-style quiz created by children at a local primary school gives contestants the chance to find out how much they know about smoking.

And, unlike the famous TV quiz, what's at stake isn't a million pounds but something altogether more important - our health.

The interactive quiz has been created by pupils at Cragside Primary School in High Heaton, Newcastle, along with TV adverts, posters, raps and poems, as part of a special week of creative schooling all about smoking. And in recognition of the innovative work the children have done while learning about smoking, the school is due to receive a special award at a presentation ceremony taking place this Wednesday on No Smoking Day. Having already achieved national healthy schools status - which requires taking a wholeschool approach to eating well, keeping active and staying healthy - Cragside Primary decided to go for the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear gold smokefree school award, to help reinforce positive messages of healthy living among pupils.

In Newcastle, the award is supported by Newcastle Primary Care Trust.

Learning how to live a healthy life is a key part of the Government's ambitious Change4Life campaign.

The campaign - which is currently being shown on TV, billboards and magazines in the region - aims to kick-start a lifestyle revolution in families to halt the rising tide of obesity.

Experts say that without any intervention, by 2050 90% of today's children will be overweight or obese and at risk from serious diseases.

Corner shops in the North East have already been the first in England to pilot a scheme to get people eating more fruit and vegetables as part of the campaign and across North of Tyne, a range of healthy schemes for children and families are underway under the Change4Life banner.

Susan White, class teacher at Cragside Primary School, said: "After achieving national healthy schools status, the smoke-free award offered another way for us as a school to get important health messages across to pupils.

"We decided to get the whole school involved and dedicated a week of school time to learning about the dangers of smoking and the impacts on health.

"The children responded really positively, getting really involved in creating the adverts and the quiz and learning a huge amount in the process."

As these children grow up, they will need to make their own choices about their health and wellbeing.

Susan is confident this kind of education will help them to make healthy decisions.

She added: "By encouraging the children to be creative when learning about smoking and its dangers, we're equipping them with knowledge so they can make informed choices about what they want to do with their bodies. …

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