Ballincollig Youthreach take overall winner title back home to Cork following Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards

July 20, 2016

Ballincollig Youthreach has been awarded Overall Senior Winner at the Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2016 Winners: Aoife Walsh, Oscar Scannel, Urla Cooney and Niamh McEvoy

Ballincollig Youthreach Awarded Overall Senior Winner at the Irish Cancer Society X-Hale Youth Awards 2016

Wednesday 13th July 2016: Ballincollig Youthreach has been awarded Overall Senior Winner at the Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2016. The group scooped the award for its short film “I don’t know why I love you” which was showcased at the recent event (Thursday 7th July) in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Over 300 young people came together to showcase their anti-tobacco films and projects which they have created to contribute towards establishing Ireland’s first smoke-free generation.

Smoking rates among young people have plummeted to their lowest rate yet with only eight per cent of young people between the ages of 10 and 17 now smoking. The rate of smoking among young people in Ireland has seen continuous decline in recent years. While in 1998, 21.2 per cent of young people between 10-17 years were smoking, the numbers dropped to 11.9 per cent in 2010 and 8 per cent in 2014*. X-HALE is an initiative of the Irish Cancer Society which aims to empower young people to work towards reducing smoking among their generation, by raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and encouraging their peers to be smoke free. Since its inception in 2011, the X-HALE Youth Awards has seen almost 1,200 young people attend the annual event, with over a quarter of a million views for the young people’s smoking prevention short films and projects online.

Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager at the Irish Cancer Society said: “I would like to congratulate Ballincollig Youthreachfor taking part and for making a positive impact on their health and that of their peers. They have been recognised for exceptional effort in their project. We need to look at what Ballincollig Youthreach and the rest of the #theXgeneration are saying. They can be Ireland’s first smoke-free generation and they are telling us in their own way that the time is up for the tobacco industry in this country. They are educated on the issue of smoking and are refusing to let their health be affected by tobacco.”

This is the sixth year of the X-HALE Youth Awards which began in December 2010 when the Society invited applications from youth groups from all over Ireland for funding under the scheme. Since its inception, the Society has invested approximately €130,000 in support for youth groups across the country to tackle smoking. Ballincollig Youthreach received an iPad mini kindly sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

The winners of the 2016 X-HALE Youth Awards are listed below. For further information on X-HALE visit www.cancer.ie/xhale and to watch the X-HALE entries visit www.cancer.ie/xhale2016 .

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