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Winners of Tobacco—I'm Not Buying It Contest

On May 30th, Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General, announced the winners of a video contest she launched on March 15, 2012, in conjunction with the release of Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. At that time, she invited young Americans to develop original videos that featured one or more of the following findings from the report:

  • Cigarette smoking by youth and young adults immediately begins a sequence of health consequences, including addiction, reduced lung function, asthma, and heart disease.
  • Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.
  • Use of tobacco products by youth and young adults shows signs of increasing after years of steady decline.

Illustration: Teenagers in a cigarette packThe contest—Tobacco: I'm Not Buying It—was hosted CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and supported through Challenge.gov. Applicants were invited to submit videos in either English or Spanish in two age categories: youth (13–17 years) or young adult (18–25 years). This creative outlet encouraged applicants to express their views about this problem and proclaim why they are not buying into the world of tobacco. According to the Pew and American Life Internet Project[PDF - 698K], "Shooting, sharing, streaming and chatting—social media-using teens are the most enthusiastic users of many online video capabilities."

To encourage participation in the contest, CDC/OSH announced the availability of up to four grand prizes of $1,000 each (one for each category and language. Three $500 runner-up prizes were also available for each category and language. Contestants were instructed to submit their content via the Challenge.gov Web site.

And the Winners Are . . .

Congratulations to the winners of the Surgeon General's video contest! The competition was engaging and energetic, and it was great to hear what America's youth and young adults had to say about tobacco use, tobacco promotion, and targeting of youth and young adults.

$1,000 Winners

Photo: Dantreal Waiters, winner of Surgeon General's video content ages 13-17Winner, English/Ages 13–17: Tobacco—I'm Not Buying It Rap
Tobacco—I'm Not Buying It Rap was submitted by Dantreal Waiters from Bradenton, Florida.

Winner, English/Ages 18–25: You Don't Smoke Cigarettes, Cigarettes Smoke You!
You Don't Smoke Cigarettes, Cigarettes Smoke You! was submitted by Ayyaz Amjad from Woodbridge, Virginia.

Winner, Spanish/Ages 18–25: El Tabaco y La Industria
El Tabaco y La Industria (English translation: Tobacco and the Industry) was submitted by Sarah Skipper, Karolina Almasi, Taylor Crews, Natalie Curtis, and Malorie McKinnon from Miami, Florida.

$500 Winners

First Runner-Up, English/Ages: 13–17: We Deserve a Chance to Live Out Our Dreams!
We Deserve a Chance to Live Out Our Dreams! was submitted by Taylor Blackwell from Jupiter, Florida.

First Runner-Up, English/Ages 18–25: Not Quite So Different
Not Quite So Different was submitted by William Warren Bowman from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Second Runner-Up, English/Ages 13–17: It's Just Not Worth It (Surgeon General Just Say No)
It's Just Not Worth It (Surgeon General Just Say No) was submitted by Michael Margiotti from Moorestown, New Jersey.

Second Runner-Up, English/Ages 18–25: Smokers Don't Understand
Smokers Don't Understand was submitted by Jack Carpenter from Clifton Park, New York.

Third Runner-Up, English/Ages 13–17: Duplin TRU Team
Duplin TRU Team was submitted by Marisol Garcia, Yanira Campos, and Soledad Rodriguez from Kenansville, North Carolina.

Third Runner-Up, English/Ages 18–25: Impact of Tobacco—Don't Be Fooled
Impact of Tobacco—Don't Be Fooled was submitted by Crystal Blair from Miami, Florida.

Promoting the Videos

CDC will also publicly announce the winners and runners-up and promote their videos through a variety of digital media (Web sites, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter), providing them with broader recognition and further publicizing the Surgeon General's Report findings. Follow CDC's extended coverage of the video contest on Twitter using #SG Report and on Facebook @ CDCTobaccoFree.

How These Videos Were Judged

OSH engaged youth advocacy partners and the general public through traditional and social media channels to vote for the finalists in each category. OSH received a total of 85 video submissions, of which 63 met the Challenge.gov criteria. The top 10 submissions from the combined voting were then judged by an expert panel. Submissions were judged on the accuracy of key messages, inclusion of recommendations contained in the report, creativity, and other criteria listed in the rules. The video submission deadline was April 20, 2012, and final judging by the expert panel concluded on May 1, 2012.

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