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Winner of SOS competition announced

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First prize in the Smoke or Save (SOS) competition at Horowhenua College has been announced, with a humorous video featuring a lamb, taking out the top spot.

The competition, which asked students to enter material that could be used for stop smoking initiatives, attracted three entries from students at the high school. The winning entry was completed by Morgan Hucker, who entered a well-constructed video, with a clear smokefree message, which the judges described as: “a clever way of getting a message across, while blending in a good element of humour.”

The video stars a lamb that is happily walking in its field until a lit cigarette appears on the screen, at which point the lamb quickly backtracks. The video is finished with the message “I don’t smoke, ewe shouldn’t either!”

Morgan received an iPhone 5S for the winning entry. All material will be kept for potential future use in stop smoking initiatives.
MDHB Maori Health Advisor Doug Edwards is happy with how the programme is progressing.

He said: “This year we received a small number of entries, but we are looking at this as a long-term project, working to build a culture where smoking is simply not accepted. Talking to the students, the feeling is that the message is getting through.”

The SOS programme was launched last year, in a partnership with BNZ Levin. The aim is to encourage students to give up smoking, and put that money toward saving for future expenses, such as tertiary education.

The programme’s presence at Horowhenua College is being coordinated by a Roopu (group) of Rangatahi (youth) that have been tasked with developing creative ways to spread the SOS message.

The last ASH Year 10 smoking survey showed a disparity between the numbers of Māori youth smoking, compared to other ethnicities. It is hoped that programmes like SOS, which are targeted at Rangatahi, will have a positive impact on smoking rates at the school.

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