World Health Organisation Awards Limerick Youth Service ahead of World No Tobacco Day

Not Around Us campaign helps people to quit for good

Today, (27 May 2020), ahead of World No Tobacco Day which takes place next Sunday 31st May, HSE Health & Wellbeing is delighted to announce that Limerick Comhairle na nÓg have been awarded the prestigious World No Tobacco Day Award by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their leading role in the development of Not Around Us, a campaign to discourage people from smoking or vaping around children and young people.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”. The award presented to Limerick Comhairle na nÓg is in recognition of their efforts to achieve this.

Launched to coincide with World No Tobacco Day last year, Not Around Us has promoted an environment where it is easier for those who smoke to quit and remain smoke free and helps to de-normalise smoking for the next generation through shaping policy development, signalling out appropriate areas for no-smoking signage, engaging on the effects of second hand smoking and raising awareness of the supports for those who wish to quit smoking. The Not Around Us signage can be seen in areas where young people play and learn such as parks, playgrounds and schools.

Speaking about the award, Simon Harris, Minister for Health said: “It is very encouraging to see our young people playing such an active role in the development of the ‘Not Around Us’ campaign, which promotes smoke-free zones in public areas for the benefit of all and brings us closer to our goal of a Tobacco Free Ireland and a Healthy Ireland.  For a local youth led initiative to receive the highest international recognition is an extraordinary achievement. Congratulations to the agencies and partners that participated and especially to the young people involved.”

Martina Blake, National Lead, HSE, Health & Wellbeing, Tobacco Free Ireland Programme said:  “This is a fantastic achievement by Limerick Comhairle na nÓg.  I am so thrilled that they are being recognised on a world stage. This is an important first step in sending a positive message that common public and community spaces should be healthy and smoke free environments for all to enjoy.  This award recognises the power of the youth voice and the power of partnership working in reinforcing that message. I would like to thank and congratulate all the organisations in Limerick who played their part.”

The Not Around Us programme which was funded by the HSE and Healthy Ireland was launched in 2019, the purpose of the campaign is to:

  • Help protect children and young people from second hand smoke exposure
  • Contribute to the denormalisation of smoking for children and young people
  • Reduce environmental nuisance, cost of cleaning and damage that discarded tobacco products create
  • Raise awareness of and direct people to HSE Quit smoking cessation services

John Real, Coordinator, Limerick Comhairle na nÓg, said: “Limerick Comhairle na nÓg are honoured to receive this recognition from the World Health Organisation, for their leading role in the #NotAroundUs campaign.  From initial meetings and research to the shaping of future policy, the voice of the young people was listened to and valued by all the partners.   This was crucial to the project as it will be the young people and their peers who will lead this drive for a Tobacco Free Generation. It was a privilege working with Healthy Limerick and we would like to thank all at Limerick City & County Council, the HSE, Dept. Health and Limerick Youth Service for their support.”

The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free, proven support by phone, email, SMS and live chat.  For those that are considering quitting free call1800 201 203 to talk to the QUIT Team or visit www.quit.ie for stop smoking tips and resources, order a free Quit Kit,  and create a personalised quit plan. Quitters can also get peer-to-peer support at the HSE QUIT Facebook page www.facebook.com/HSEQUIT and follow us on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam

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Last updated on: 27 / 05 / 2020