JOKING about smoking might seem an unusual way of dealing with a serious health issue, but it is an approach being tried out in North Tyneside to warn youngsters of the dangers of the habit.
As part of National No Smoking Day last week, Year 5 pupils at Marden Bridge Middle School in Whitley Bay came face to face with clowns from Durham’s Tin Arts.
The arts group used humour to convey serious messages intended to improve children’s health and wellbeing.
The clowns use drama and comedy to illustrate the dangers of cigarettes and help the children resist peer pressure to smoke.
The Lovaine Avenue school is the first in North Tyneside to take part in the project, but others are now set to follow.
Headteacher Alan Driver said: “This is a really interactive way of enabling pupils to explore this important issue and help reinforce and articulate the positive messages that they’re already aware of.”
Coun David Lilly, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “The health and wellbeing of our children and young people is a high priority, and we’re committed to providing the support and information they need to make the right and healthy choices, at the earliest possible age.
“This programme does that in a fun, interactive way.”