ECO-UNESCO to work with Irish Cancer Society on Youth Project as part of new Young People and Smoking Initiative

ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation, will be working together with The Irish Cancer Society as part of the first X-HALE Youth Awards Scheme. This is a new initiative which aims to work with young people to address the issue of smoking in their own communities. An award of €4,000 was made at a training session for members of the project in Dublin this weekend.

The funding will go towards enabling the project based in Dublin 2 but with participants from Inchicore, Tallaght, Drimnagh, Crumlin & York Street.
The overall aim of the project is for young ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators to raise awareness about smoking related issues among peers and their wider local communities as part of their Environmental Action projects with ECO-UNESCO.

ECO-UNESCO National Director Elaine Nevin said “we are delighted to be working together with the Irish Cancer Society on this project. ECO-UNESCO works to educate, inspire and empower young people to become active citizens. As part of this we work to promote healthy lifestyle choices in young people which helps to make their peer group, their community and their environment more sustainable. We are looking forward to making the project a success.”

The X-HALE Award Scheme is part of the Irish Cancer Society’s Young People and Smoking Initiative. Applications were invited from youth groups all over Ireland and funding has been awarded to nine groups in total, including the group from ECO-UNESCO. The successful applicants all demonstrated unique and innovative ways of tackling the issue of smoking amongst young people in their community. Over the next six months they will prepare and deliver their projects with training and support from the Society. All of the projects will be showcased at regional and national events in the autumn.

Irish Cancer Society CEO John McCormack said “High smoking rates, particularly amongst young people, coupled with very high lung cancer rates nationally, means that something needs to be done about smoking. The Irish Cancer Society wants to reduce the number of young people smoking, discourage young people from starting to smoke in the first place and support young smokers who want to quit. We believe that encouraging young people to do something positive to address smoking in their own communities will help achieve these goals.”


Daniel Meister, ECO-UNESCO Communications Officer communications@ecounesco.ie Tel. +353 1 6625491

Note to Editors:


ECO-UNESCO (www.ecounesco.ie) is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation. The organisation aims to raise environmental awareness, promote the protection and conservation of the environment, and promote the personal development of young people. ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).

About the Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society is national charity for cancer care in Ireland. We work to ensure that; Ireland has a world class cancer service; Fewer people get cancer, through health promotion, cancer prevention, screening and research and that those with cancer will be treated early and will have better survival rates.

About the X-Hale Awards

The X –Hale Youth Award Scheme is part of the Irish Cancer Society’s Young People and Smoking Initiative to generate a youth centred, positive, smoke-free initiative, for young people, in a way that is both sensitive and relevant to their community’s needs. We would like to work with young people to address tobacco-related lifestyle issues and support them in the development of positive youth-led activities. Ultimately we hope to empower young people to take ownership of their own health and make the commitment to smoke-free lifestyles.