Three Surrey students were honoured Friday (June 21) for their work in creating posters to warn students about the effects of vaping.
There was one secondary student winner and two elementary students tied for their poster designs.
Safa Sajid, a Grade 11 student at Tamanawis Secondary, received $500 for her poster, which told students to not “become another statistic.”
Highlighted in yellow, Sajid’s poster says, “Vaping isn’t ‘just’ water vapour.”
Sajid said she asked her friends what they wanted, and they told her the word “just” should be in quotations “because it’s the perception” that vaping isn’t bad.
“I’ve seen a lot of my classmates starting to become less focused in classrooms and more jumpy,” Sajid said in relation to vaping.
Shwen Neo, a Grade 7 student at Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning, and Nhi Vo, a Grade 7 student at Mary Jane Shannon, were both recognized for their posters.
Neo’s poster told students to “think of the consequences” and that “vaping doesn’t only affect your own mind, lungs and hearts, but the health of everyone else.”
Neo said that while she thought the contest would be a fun project to work on, she hoped her poster might help people stop vaping.
For Vo, her poster featured the silhouette of a person vaping, with a red door in the background.
Vo said her dad smokes and she tells him to stop, so she included the image of a door “to find another way” to stop.
“It’s not good for your bodies and it kind of smells too,” she said.
The idea for a contest began back in October, said Clayton Heights Secondary principal Bal Ranu, with the contest initially intended to stay within the high school.
Ranu said a school board trustee was upset with all the vaping going on at schools and asked what principals were doing to fix the problem.
Ranu said initially, staff was suspending students.
“We were suspending five kids a day.”
With the idea of a contest in mind, Ranu said, staff began working with Fraser Health, which gave resources and the criteria for the posters.
Clayton Heights counsellor Bruce Dayton said staff decided to get the students to create the posters to not have “adult eyes on the project.”
“Get it to be kids because stuff like this, I might not have come up with as an adult. Now that I look at it, I go, ‘Perfect,’ because it probably speaks to kids your age,” Dayton said.
“You could be responsible for having some kids not get involved in vaping because they’re walking down the hall and they see a poster.”
1/3 #Vaping – information for parents and families. Looking forward to talking with @amyreid87 about this growing trend and concern for our youth. Thanks to @Fraserhealth and @BCLungAssoc for your support of our work with families. #sd36learn #surreybc #health pic.twitter.com/zSDQKqg6My
— Jordan Tinney (@jordantinney) April 23, 2019