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MANDEVILLE — Mayfield All Age School lifted one of several trophies presented at the 2011 St. Elizabeth Health Department’s public awareness campaign against smoking exposition, at the school on Tuesday May 31.

The trophy was one of several awarded by the health department at the exposition staged to celebrate World No Tobacco Day under the theme “I will do what is best for me; I will keep my body tobacco free”.

Other schools participating in the expo were Pedro Plains Primary, Sandy Bank Primary, Ballards Valley Primary, Munroe Preparatory, Mayfield All Age, Bethlehem All Age and Infant, Geneva Primary and Barbary Hall Primary school.

Presenters looked at the negative health effects from tobacco smoking, and the need for parents and educators to pay close attention to children, to ensure that they don’t fall prey to the inducement to smoke.

“We are preparing you from now, (that) when you are offered the opportunity to smoke, say no. If you smoke, you will start to kill your body and, down the road, you will begin to feel the effects,” stated Health Educator for St. Elizabeth, Oddeth Brown-Reid.

According to a pamphlet produced by the Ministry of Health, there are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.

“Teenagers are more likely to ignore health consequences, and are more easily to be addicted. They are more vulnerable, so choose to keep your body from tobacco, keep your body tobacco free,” Behaviour Change Communications Coordinator, Caple Taylor, told the audience.

The exposition also sought to give students an opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Other winners were: Pedro Plains in poetry, Barbary Hall Primary in lyrics and Bethlehem All Age and Infant in the poster competition.

In his message to mark World No Tobacco Day, Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said that the drafting of the Tobacco Control Regulations is well advanced, and when implemented, will represent a major step in discouraging smoking in public places.

                                                         

 GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter