Roma kid Matthew’s quest to ban smoking leads to meeting with Bruce Scott
WHEN Roma’s Matthew Rowlings saw one of his relatives lighting up a cigarette and knew it was bad for their health, he realised he had to do something about it.
The eight-year-old has been rewarded for his efforts to ban smoking by meeting with Maranoa MP Bruce Scott after writing a letter to the politician.
Matthew was encouraged to write a letter to Mr Scott on the suggestion of his father Gordon.
“Usually when my [relative] gets a box of cigarettes, I look at the pictures and there’s eye cancer and mouth cancer. I find that very bad,” he said.
“I said to dad ‘could I write to IGA and say stop selling smokes?’ and he said ‘you should write to Bruce Scott’.”
Mr Scott’s office arranged for the MP to meet with Matthew, and while he didn’t get the exact result he was looking for, the youngster said he keen to spread the message of the dangers of smoking.
“Mr Scott said [the government] can’t ban smoking but they’re trying to make people stop smoking by using cancers on boxes and they’re putting ads up on TV,” he said.
“He said to ask one of the teachers if I could go on parade or maybe just in play time, and tell the [kids] that smoking is really bad and get the kids to tell their parents.”
Matthew’s mother Janet, who admitted she never picked him for an idealist, thanked Mr Scott for taking the time to speak with her son.
“That was really lovely of him and Gordon said Bruce was fantastic with [Matthew],” she said.