The former Rochdale Borough children’s Champion, Zara Shah, was keen to campaign to stop adults smoking around children.  Zara met with Rochdale’ Smoking Cessation Team and discussed how they could work together to tackle this issue of passive smoking.  They agreed to do a ‘no smoking poster competition’ and every primary school across the borough was given the opportunity to allow their students to take part and design a poster which would encourage adults to quit smoking, or at least stop smoking around children.

237 posters were returned to Rochdale Youth Service!  Lisa Barker and Ve Nutter from the Smoking Cessation Team along with Jo Manfred (skills and participation development officer), looked at each one, not knowing who had designed them, and choose which were their favourites.  Out of the 13 posters selected, they all agreed on one which one should be published and used in libraries, GP surgeries and other public buildings to help encourage adults to stop smoking.  the winning poster was designed by 11 year old Zaara Ali from Marland Hill Primary School and who is also a member of Rochdale Borough Children’s Council.  ‘Smoke is no joke’ is a phrase which Zara Shah herself came up with and has also been added to the winning poster design.

Hannah Nazir, the newly elected Children’s Champion, wants to continue campaigning for adults to stop smoking and is currently in discussion about where else the posters can be displayed, with ideas such as local parks and outside primary schools being put forward so far.