Niall Newbury, Sonia McKeown, Shane Kerr, Nicole Cooney McCann, Ciaran Hegarty, Anne McKevitt, Ryan Byrne, Sarah Cooney McCann and Stacey McVeigh, from Dundalk Youth Centre
Dundalk Youth Centre has been awarded the prize for Best Smoking Influences Message at the Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2018.
The group scooped the award for it’s short film “Expectations Up in Smoke” which was showcased at the recent event in the Helix in Dublin. Sonia McKeown from Dundalk Youth Centre also took home the award for Best Actress in the competition.
Over 350 young people from 45 youth and community groups came together to showcase their anti-tobacco films and projects which they created to contribute towards establishing Ireland’s first smoke-free generation.
While smoking rates have declined in recent years, a new report published by the HSE and Healthy Ireland revealed that 16% of children aged nine or older have smoked cigarettes in their lifetime and 6% are classified as current smokers.
Donal Buggy, Head of Services at the Irish Cancer Society said: “Thankfully, smoking rates have declined but there’s still a lot more work to do.
“We need to look at what Dundalk Youth Centre and the rest of the #TheXGeneration are saying. Young people truly understand the dangers of smoking and the power of the tobacco industry.
“I would like to congratulate Sonia McKeown and the rest of Dundalk Youth Centre on winning their awards and for making a positive impact on their health and that of their peers. They have been recognised at this awards ceremony for exceptional effort in their project.”
This is the eighth year of the X-HALE programme, a youth smoking prevention initiative of the Irish Cancer Society. www.facebook.com/XHaleYouthAwards.