Smoking smarts earns Cape Naturaliste College award

Cape Naturaliste College health and physical education teacher Merrylee Legros with Year 9 students who participated in an anti-smoking advertising research project. Image Sophie Elliott.
Cape Naturaliste College health and physical education teacher Merrylee Legros with Year 9 students who participated in an anti-smoking advertising research project. Image Sophie Elliott.

Cape Naturaliste College students have been awarded for their participation in a project aimed at curbing smoking in young people.

The 2017 Critics’ Choice competition was a project from Smarter than Smoking and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health.

As part of the project, students watched a series of anti-smoking commercials from around the world and voted on the video they found most effective.

Terrie’s Tips television advertisement, which provides advice from a deceased former smoker, proved to be the most popular anti-smoking public education campaign among Australian students.

In the ad, former smoker Terri details her daily morning ritual –putting in false teeth, putting on a wig and connecting a hands free device so she can speak.

Students commented that the ad was shocking and confronting.

“It really was the most effective ad for us as it showed actual outcomes of what can happen if you smoke,” said Charlie Allen.

“It makes you think – do you actually want to live like this or do you want to look like that in the future.”

As part of the program, students completed activities on smoking statistics, discussed the impact of graphic advertising and how their peers perceive smoking.

Advertisements featuring hard-hitting imagery and graphic health warnings proved most popular with students.

Cape Naturaliste College health and physical education teacher Merrylee Legros said the project was in line with the school’s approach to health education.

“As part of our health program, we give students information to make the best choices to keep themselves safe and healthy,” she said.

“The message is really important and what we do as educators is not say yes or no, we provide information so they make good choices – that is what our heath philosophy is all about.”

The school has won a $500 voucher, which will be put towards health resources.

More than 35 WA schools were involved and more than 600 students participated.