Tobacco-free campaign launched in Waterford today
The Local Community Development Committees of Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford have collectively launched aTobacco-Freee Positive Message Campaign across the region.
This campaign is a direct outcome of partnership working between the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), the HSE, Health and Wellbeing, Youth Reach and Youth Services from across the south-east and was launched in Waterford at the WIT sports campus on Thursday morning.
The campaign is funded under Healthy Ireland Strand 1 funding and sets out to increase awareness and knowledge of the benefits of being tobacco-free through the provision of training and a 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 www.QUIT.ie 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 was also showcased at the regional tobacco-free launch on September 27.
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 5 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 September 27, and annually thereafter on Ash Wednesday, World No Tobacco day on May 31 and again on October 1.
Cllr John O’Leary, Deputy Mayor, Waterford City & County Council, welcomed this initiative, thanked all those organisations involved and congratulated all the young people who engaged with the “We Can Quit” programme. Dr. Derval Howley (Head of Service, Health and Wellbeing South East Community Healthcare) said the Health Services across the south-east were delighted to be working closely with the Local Community Development Committees in Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford and youth services from across the region to promote the importance of being tobacco free.
Participating locations in each county include local civic offices, public libraries, Waterford Greenway, public parks, primary care and HSE facilities, secondary and third level education providers, sports facilities and youth services across the region.