Stepney boy’s anti-smoking sign to be displayed in all primary schools

Shakil Muhammed Hussain with (from left) Julia Wolska, health adviser at Tower Hamlets Council, Davi

Shakil Muhammed Hussain with (from left) Julia Wolska, health adviser at Tower Hamlets Council, David Beyt, GLA health officer, and Monica Forty, education officer at Tower Hamlets Council - Credit: Archant

A Stepney student who designed a “No Smoking” sign as part of a health project will see his sign displayed across all primary schools in Tower Hamlets from September.

Shakil Muhammed Hussain, a Year 6 student at Cayley Primary School in Aston Street, won the No Smoking sign design competition and received an award at the Healthy Schools event at the ExCel Centre last Wednesday.

The competition invited Year 5 and 6 students to design a poster to dissuade people from smoking around the school gates.

Children were also taught about the damage to people’s health that smoking can cause.

Judges picked a winner and five runners-up out of the 35 posters submitted from students at six schools on the basis of their creativity and research.

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Shakil said: “I was so shocked and bewildered when I was told I won the no smoking sign design competition. A designer worked with me to make a professional sign, which would be put up at every Tower Hamlets school entrance!

“The idea behind my design was to show a group of smoke figures being sucked into a cigarette, representing how smoking puts families at risk. I couldn’t believe I had won, but the designer said mine was ‘one-of-a-kind’.”

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Tower Hamlets has a high rate of smoking, with parents and carers gathering at school gates during drop off and pick up times.

Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health at the council, congratulated Shakil and all the students who entered designs. He said he hoped the poster will make parents “think twice about smoking in front of children”.

For more on the council’s stop smoking services visit

Read more:

Muslims in Tower Hamlets offered help to quit smoking for Ramadan

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