Meet the smoke-free generation

WHEN these children were born at John Hunter Hospital in 1991 they were anointed as the first smoke-free generation.

Hopeful anti-smoking campaigners from the NSW Cancer Council Hunter presented the newborn bubs and their parents with a tiny T-shirt to mark World No Tobacco Day.

The children all marked their 21st birthday this month and the Newcastle Herald reunited them for World No Tobacco Day today.

Since the children were born the price of a packet of cigarettes has risen from about $3.14 to $19.10.

The percentage of men who smoke has dropped from 29 per cent to 21 per cent. And the percentage of women who smoke has dropped from 24 per cent to 18 per cent.

When they turned 18, these young people were the first generation to walk into a pub or club where there was no smoking anywhere inside.

Smoking is banned in and outside public buildings, restaurants, shopping centres, bus stops, taxi ranks, council parks and ovals and even in cars when children are present.

Smoking still kills 15,000 Australians each year but there is increased treatment and improved outcomes for patients.

None of these four young people smokes.

Tara Osborn, of Elermore Vale, hates smoking, none of her friends smoke, and she had tried to talk a relative out of his habit.

"Even the smell of it makes me sick. If I can smell it on clothes it makes me sick," she said.

"Most of my friends think it's pretty yuck."

Georgia Wendt, of Bar Beach, has never tried a cigarette and doesn't want to.

"I wasn't interested at all," she said.

Joshua Earp, of Bar Beach, said he tried smoking as a teen and it was not for him.

"I just feel it's disgusting but you can see some people are addicted."

Laura Pavey, of Merewether, said she thinks smoking is gross.

"But I wouldn't judge those who do."

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