Annie Holland, Natasha Martin, DeeDee Delaney, Lauren O'Meara, Chantelle Hickey, Lorna Shoer, Sheila Geany, Conor Reddan and Jamie Ford from Nenagh Community Training Centre.
Nenagh Community Training Centre from Tipperary has been awarded the prize for Short Film Competition Senior Category Runner Up at the Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2018. The group scooped the award for its short film “Get off the Nicotine Road” which was showcased at the recent event in the Helix in Dublin.
Fellow Tipperary group, Thurles Junior Boys Group, also entered a short film to the competition and attended the awards ceremony in the Helix.
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. Of those who smoke, one in two experience irritability or bad temper, one in three reported ‘feeling low’ and one in three reported difficulties in getting to sleep. 
In addition, schoolchildren who smoke are 12 times more likely to have consumed alcohol in the last month and 39 times more likely to have consumed cannabis in the last month. 
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. These findings are extremely worrying. We know that smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in Ireland, responsible for one in three cancers overall and nine in ten lung cancers. But this report shows the additional negative impact that smoking can have on the mental and physical wellbeing of young people in particular.”
“We need to look at what Nenagh Community Training Centre, Thurles Junior Boys Group and the rest of the #TheXGeneration are saying. The entries submitted show that young people truly understand the dangers of smoking and the power of the tobacco industry. They people have a vital role to play on the journey to Ireland becoming a tobacco-free country.”
I would like to congratulate Nenagh Community Training Centre on winning their award 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. The programme aims to de-normalise smoking and encourage young people to drive the movement towards a tobacco free generation.
The winners of the 2018 X-HALE Youth Awards are listed below. For further information or to watch the X-HALE entries visit www.cancer.ie/xhale2018.
Follow the X-HALE conversation using the #TheXGeneration or visit the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ XHaleYouthAwards