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No Smoking Day

12 Mar 2014


A very powerful message for No Smoking Day on March 12th 2014, that not only can smoking ruin your health but it can play havoc with your looks. Eager to help with raising awareness of the national 'No Smoking' campaign, Beauty Therapy students from our Brunswick Street, Belfast campus teamed up with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, creating makeovers on fellow students to show the dramatic effects 20 years of smoking can have on your looks. 

Level 2 NVQ Beauty Therapy students Amy O'Neill (pictured above left) and Shannon Gibson (pictured above right) agreed to have latex masks applied to their faces by fellow students to create the look of wrinkles, a powerful image of the effects of smoking on your looks. All students involved invested a lot of preparation time in the project ensuring that the results of the makeovers created a large impact for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland's awareness campaign. And the hard work certainly paid off...

In raising awareness for their campaign Cancer Focus sent the powerful images to local media in Northern Ireland and was successful in raising the profile of the message to stop smoking. Pictured left, our local Belfast Telegraph featured the story, along with the images and hard work of our Beauty Therapy students. And our local television stations got involved, with UTV visiting our Brunswick Street campus on No Smoking Day, March 12th to witness our students recreating the original looks that had already made such a huge impact.

The television crews arrived to watch the preparations well under way and took the opportunity to speak to students, including Shannon Gibson and Amy O'Neill, about the importance of getting involved in the campaign.

This was a fantastic experience for all the students that got involved and a credit to their talent and hard work. Led by Beauty Therapy Tutor, Colin Thompson, the effects created by the makeovers were incredible to see and created a very powerful image for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland's No Smoking campaign. Cancer Focus stop smoking specialists provide one-to-one sessions for students at The Academy Hair & Beauty Training School who want to quit and invited them to take part in the experiment to drive home the quit message. The finished photos were made up into stop smoking posters and are now displayed in our five campuses around Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the campaign, Judith West, cancer prevention officer at the charity said: “The best thing you can do to improve your health is to stop smoking and Cancer Focus is here to help if you want to give it a go. It is something you can do at any time of the year, not just on No Smoking Day.

Twenty-five per cent of adults in Northern Ireland smoke (360,000) and research has shown that over two thirds of them would like to stop. We also know that smokers who get support are four times more likely to be successful when they try to stop and we can offer tips, advice and nicotine replacement therapies to make it that bit easier. Around 56% of those who enrolled in services last year had successfully stopped at four weeks”.

Anyone interested in stopping smoking can get in touch with the charity on the Smokers' Helpline 0808 812 8008.


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