The Local Community Development Committees of Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Wexford will collectively launch a Tobacco Free Positive Message Campaign across the region on Thursday (September 27).
The campaign is a direct outcome of partnership working between the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), the HSE, Health and Well-being, Youth Reach and Youth Service from across the south east and was funded under Healthy Ireland Strand 1 funding.
The regional tobacco free action set out to increase awareness and knowledge of the benefits of being tobacco free through the provision of training and positive message campaign with young people from across the region.
The positive message campaign provides information about how to QUIT, what support is available, how to access support and the rewards of quitting. The overall positive message campaign includes XHale training, which was provided by the Irish Cancer Society and was completed by participants and staff in youth reach and out of school settings.
This training provides participants with the skills, confidence and materials they need to tackle smoking issues in their youth setting and provides a framework for facilitating a broad range of smoking prevention sessions in an engaging and empowering way with young people.
In addition, young people also participated in the Irish Cancer Society Xhale media training programme. Youth organisations from across the region produced tobacco free videos which were showcased at the XHale media awards in The Helix Dublin on July 5 and will also be showcased at the regional tobacco free launch on Thursday.
The positive message campaign set out to move away from the traditional no smoking messages to messages which includes ‘you can achieve’, ‘take the first steps to a healthier life’, and ‘reach out for help’.
The development of a stencil using the message “Reach out for Help’ aims to reinforce the positive message of being tobacco free and is intended to be used across the five counties on the same day on key dates throughout the year.
Within each county, participating partners are being invited to participate in the stencil campaign and are asked to use the stencil to display this positive message using spray paint on Thursday and annually thereafter on Ash Wednesday, World No Tobacco day on May 31 and October 1.
Participating locations in each county include local civic offices, public libraries, greenways, public parks, primary care and HSE facilities, secondary and third level education providers, sports facilities, and youth services across the region.
The launch of the Tobacco Free Positive Message Campaign in Waterford will take place at the WIT Arena at 11am on Thursday.