STUDENTS' anti illegal tobacco artwork can be seen in bus stops around a town, launched on National No Smoking Day.

Darlington College art and design students created posters for bus shelters across the town to help tackle the illegal tobacco trade, a new campaign launched by Darlington Borough Council’s Trading Standards and Public Health Services, Durham Police and the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC).

Chloe Duncombe-Shafto of Middleton St George, bagged the winning design with a poster asking parents if they know how their children’s pocket money is spent.

The 17-year-old said: “I appreciate the opportunity to produce an advertisement for such an important campaign and to see my work in the public domain.”

The campaign focuses on problems caused by illegal tobacco and cigarettes sales, particularly to underage children, and encourages the public to report any issues.

The Northern Echo:

Other posters, with different designs, can be seen around town with more to follow.

Durham Police said illegal tobacco can often be linked to serious and organised crime.

Miss Duncombe-Shafto went up against 14 peers, who collectively gave 22 entries for the campaign.

Entries were judged by a panel of judges including Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Sarah Norman and Siobhan Jones, of Durham Police, Ian Williams, the council’s director of economic growth and Dawn Taylor, trading standards manager.

Cllr Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “The standard of work produced by the students was fantastic, which made our task of choosing the winning designs very difficult.

“The eye-catching posters can now be seen at bus shelters around the town centre and we’re hoping the public will see them and be more aware of the problems that sales of illegal tobacco can cause, report any incidents and help us prevent the sale and supply of illegal tobacco in Darlington.”

Kyle Hoggins, 18, of Darlington came second and joint third were Megan Earl, 18, of Winston and Oliver Morrissey, 17, of Darlington.

Kayleigh Atkinson, 17, of Richmond, Josh Cave, 17, of Darlington and Abby Wright, 18, of Staindrop, were runners-up.

Sarah Norman, drug intervention coordinator/controlled drug liaison officer at Durham Police’s Harm Reduction Unit, said: “The students from Darlington College have assisted us with previous projects and again the work has been to a remarkable standard, we were all really impressed.

“Peer-led education is an effective tool and this project shows the level of quality that can be achieved.

“The students’ efforts will help us to reduce the harm caused to our communities by illegal tobacco, thank you again for all your hard work.”

Pippa Eeles, senior lecturer at Darlington College, said: “We were thrilled that the students were invited to work on this campaign, as it gave them invaluable experience of a genuine, live brief with real clients and deadlines, just as they would face in the world of work.”

Marketing and engagement manager at Darlington College Claire Turner said: “The students get much more involved with this type of meaningful project, where they can see impactful results like this.”

The college works with different organisations on community projects such as this and have previously paired with Durham Constabulary on the one punch kills, illegal highs and mental health campaigns.

If you have information about illegal tobacco sales in Darlington, report it to Trading Standards anonymously via the online ‘Report It’ form at