Schools stop smoking project – Radio Five Drive, 27 March 2006

Steve Clarke from Tabor School in Braintree, Essex talked about the Saving Faces smoking project in schools.

Rough transcript – Radio Five Drive Programme, 27th of March 2006:

Presenter: ‘Now if you’ve seen the ads to stop you smoking, you might well be put off for life.  But one school is going even further with shock tactics to stop schoolchildren from smoking which even involves taking them to a hospice to visit patients who are dying of smoking-related diseases.’

Steve Clarke: ‘It’s part of a campaign called Saving Faces with some facial surgeons who, as part of a test, are giving a number of students around the country a presentation, showing horrific images of facial cancer as a result of smoking in people not too far from their own age group.  The idea is to measure the effects on them and how they feel about smoking.’

‘And in the end they get to visit a hospice?’

‘What we’ve done is put together a number of stages in our approach – we want to show why giving up smoking is an important thing.  We started by involving students with the local council and designated our school site as a non-smoking site.’

‘And so first you show them the ad, then the warning and then send them to a hospice?’

‘We  will hope to enable students to interact with people who are at the latter stage of life due to being involved in smoking.  This is the reality.  It’s all very well to say Smoking Kills on a packet, but this is real.’

‘Do you see any place for smoking in our society?’

‘As an educator, I want people to make good choices that make their lives healthy and enjoyable.’

‘So if you are caught smoking,  the first thing is the warning, with the parents being told, then breaks and lunchtimes will be cancelled and then you’ve got community service.  And what effects have you seen so far?’

‘In previous terms we’ve had about 50 students being caught smoking.  We’ve seen a rapid decline and now have only 5-10 students  smoking, and none below the age of 15 that are involved in smoking.  We’ve done well.’

‘Thank you SC. It’ll be interesting to know if it lasts and what the kids do out of school.’