Brackenagh West Primary School in Kilkeel has won a new iPad in a ‘Snap the Cig’ photo competition. The prize was accepted on behalf of the school by pupil Harvey Johnston.

Hundreds of P6 and P7 pupils entered the competition which was run by leading local charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland with the support of the Public Health Agency (PHA) as part of the multi-agency tobacco control strategy in Northern Ireland

The aim of the competition was to encourage as many children as possible to take part in the campaign for a smoke-free future. Entrants were asked to snap a photo with a blow-up cigarette – Big Cig – to highlight the ‘Don’t Smoke’ message.

The best photos are displayed on the Cancer Focus NI website ( and on the charity’s Facebook, @cancerfocusni


Gerry McElwee, Head of Cancer Prevention at Cancer Focus NI, said: “We were delighted with the enthusiasm and creativity of the young people who are all members of our Smokebusters programme. We can clearly see that many are aware of the dangers of smoking and the benefits of staying smoke-free, which is excellent news.”

Local photographer Declan Roughan, who was one of the judges, said: “Some pupils obviously put a lot of thought and effort into their work. I was impressed with the overall quality of the entries and think that the schools made a tremendous effort. Congratulations to all the winners.

“This is such an important subject and this competition is a first-class way to make the children think about some of the issues and encourage them to stay away from cigarettes.”

Harvey Johnston of Brackenagh West Primary School, Kilkeel

Des Garland, Health and Wellbeing Improvement Officer with the PHA, said: “More than four out of every five adult smokers began smoking in their teens or younger so it is extremely important to discourage young people from starting to smoke in the first place.

“It is our hope that through programmes like Smokebusters and by working with our colleagues in education we can reduce the number of children that may start smoking and increase awareness of the negative effects of smoking and tobacco products. This is one part of a multi-faceted approach to reducing harm from tobacco.”

If you want Cancer Focus NI to visit your school with any of its education programmes including Smokebusters please call the charity on 028 9066 3281, email or visit

Smokers who would like to stop can visit the PHA’s Want 2 Stop website at where you can find useful tips and can order a Quit Kit free of charge to help you plan your quit attempt.