Youth strive to stop smoking through art

Jason Liang’s drawing shows a cigarette face with horns and a pitchfork, next to a haloed no-smoking sign. (Image courtesy of BCNC.)

Chinatown native Jason Liang, 11, won a magnet design contest this year, organized by Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. (Image courtesy of Yiyan Zheng.)

Chinatown native Jason Liang, 11, drew a cigarette face with horns and a pitchfork, beside a haloed no-smoking sign. Liang’s angel and devil image won him a magnet design contest among 60 competitors this year.

“I simply drew how dangerous cigarettes can cause and how not smoking can help you,” said Liang.

Part of the Smoke Free Chinatown project organized by Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), the magnet design contest engages children in its after school program Red Oak to participate in the cause and raise awareness through art.

Liang’s work will be turned into magnets and handed out with sticky notes to the parents, as well as other adult education programs in BCNC, said Shaina Lu, program director of Red Oak. Other students’ works will also be made into posters to promote a smoke-free Chinatown.

“There are cigarette butts all over the place in Chinatown,” Liang said. “Every time I pass by, I hold my breath, cover my nose and my face, but I suck in the smoke as well.”

Liang received smoking education in his health class every Tuesday at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, as well as through the Red Oak program at BCNC after school.

The Smoke Free Chinatown project is funded by the Asian Far merits Initiative of Tufts Medical Center. The initiative has worked with six other community partners in Chinatown to address the harmful effects of smoking, including smoking cessation, prevention and education.

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About Yiyan Zheng 鄭怡嫣

Yiyan Zheng is a reporter for the Sampan Newspaper. She can be reached at [email protected]
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