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JIS News

As part of its continued effort to prevent young persons from smoking and getting hooked on other tobacco related vices, the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) has launched its Anti-Tobacco Poster Competition for students in Grades 1 to 6.
The aim of the competition is to educate children about the dangers of smoking and tobacco use and also to increase awareness among the nation’s youth about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking.
“Our mission is to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in whatever areas that we know that the disease will be caused by certain lifestyles and we place a lot of emphasis on these areas,” Carol Blair, Administrative Director of the JCS told JIS News in an interview.
The JCS, she noted, aims to achieve its mission through education and outreach programmes, of which the poster competition is a part, and also cancer screenings, among several other strategies.
“We believe in targeting the youth by starting early to educate them about maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” she said. And, as research indicates, most adult smokers begin the bad habit in their pre-teens and teenage years.
The competition, the Director further explained, is not a new initiative as it started in 1997 initially as an essay competition, and later evolved in 2006 into a poster competition.
The competition is divided into three categories, each with separate themes. For Grades 1 and 2, participants are asked to create posters depicting the theme, ‘Tobacco is Bad for Your Body’. Grade 3 and 4 students should design posters to reflect the theme, ‘Tobacco Affects Other People’, while participants from Grade 5 to 6 should encapsulate the theme, ‘Why I Won’t Start Smoking’.
“We will be looking at the creativity of the piece, the originality and depiction of the theme from whatever grades the children are. We are not asking students to do very large posters, more like on a letter size white paper,” Mrs. Blair said.
Additionally, each poster should have the name of the entrant, age, school grade, teacher’s name, name of school and its address and telephone number on the back. Teachers should send or mail entries to the JCS, Anti-Tobacco Poster Competition, 16 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 5.
Entries will be judged by a child art expert recommended by the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) will be partnering with the JCS yet again, offering four prizes in each category, with the winners each receiving $3,000 in a Jamaica National Easi Save Account.
“The JNBS has a school saving programme and the children will benefit from it by entering the competition, because they will be encouraged to start saving at an early age,” Mrs. Blair said.
The deadline for the submission of entries is May 1. Winners will be notified by the end of May.