Smokefree roadshow about conveying risks

A timely road show to educate school pupils about the harmful effects of smoking and vaping is making its way around Dunedin.

Tūhura Otago Museum took its Smokefree Science showcase "Te Mana o te Ha" to Kaikorai Valley College yesterday.

Museum visitor experience and science engagement director Dr Craig Grant said the showcase was about trying to get the pupils to understand what was known about smoking and vaping but also the unknown risks associated with smoking and vaping.

He said the pupils enjoyed the hands-on part of the experience.

"When it involves them it sticks a lot more than just talking to them."

The roadshow included a roulette wheel to show some outcomes from smoking and vaping and two different pig lungs that demonstrated the difference between healthy lungs and lungs that had suffered long-term damage from smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

There were also some examples of the marketing techniques industries used to promote smoking and vaping.

Kaikorai Valley College year 7 pupil Theo Brotkin, 11, says it was scary to see the difference...
Kaikorai Valley College year 7 pupil Theo Brotkin, 11, says it was scary to see the difference between the two pig lungs showing the effects of smoking and vaping. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
"We’ve got advertisements from 20-50 years ago for cigarettes and modern day advertising for vapes, in particular on social media, and there’s so many parallels between them it’s not funny," Mr Grant said.

He was shocked to hear the government had repealed smoke-free legislation.

"That was such a game changer for what’s happening regarding smoking in New Zealand.

"But it kind of makes this showcase more timely.

"If the regulation isn’t going to come in to reduce the risk for youngsters then we just need to get out and tell them what the risks are, so they can hopefully make better decisions themselves."

The road show had already visited Carisbrook School and was planning on going to Queen’s High School, Bayfield High School and then around New Zealand, specifically targeting rural communities.