YOUNGSTERS were advised about the dangers of smoking after their school was given an award for banning smoking on its grounds.

Smoking charity Quit spoke to pupils at St Joseph's Catholic College about the dangers of starting smoking, as the school was given a gold level smoke-free award.

After the talk pupils said it had made them think twice about tobacco.

Lucy Tittensor, 12, said: "A lot of kids hang around smoking on the way to school. Most of them are older kids but some are our age."

One 15-year-old boy, who did not want to be named, said: "I smoke and have done for a couple of years. There are a lot of people my age that smoke.

"I guess it's helpful hearing about all the dangers, but everyone knows all of that anyway."

Chris English. 11, said: "I knew it was disgusting, but had no idea just how many chemicals were in cigarettes and that makes me even more sure I don't ever want to start."

Teacher Emma Dorney explained that pupils caught smoking would be educated rather than punished.

She said: "The school nurse is offering counselling, so if any pupils are caught smoking, they can learn about why it is a bad idea. If they're given a lunchtime detention for smoking they will watch a video about the effects."