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News Release

Creativity shines in "Youth Stomp Out Tobacco" videos

May 09, 2011
A poignant appeal by youth for a long life free of the influence of tobacco is the winner in this year’s Youth Stomp Out Tobacco media project.

A poignant appeal by youth for a long life free of the influence of tobacco is the winner in this year’s Youth Stomp Out Tobacco media project.

The minute-long message “I Have a Life to Live” was created under the supervision of Barrie North Collegiate teacher David Fitt and student-teacher David Emslie. The filmmaking students win a $250 cheque.

The video was one of 17 entries by budding filmmakers from four different schools in a competition open across Simcoe and Muskoka. The project is sponsored by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit with funding support from Healthy Communities Ontario.

“This year’s videos were all high quality and were a pleasure to watch,” said contest organizer Rebecca Harbridge, a public health nurse with the health unit’s tobacco program.

Radio and television personality Deb James, one of the judging panel, was equally pleased by the entries. “The quality and creativity from our Simcoe and Muskoka students continue to impress me each year,” she said.

The project challenges students to develop video messages that will appeal to their peers. This year participants had a choice of themes focusing either on the addictiveness and harm of smokeless tobacco products or preventing youth from being targeted by the tobacco industry. The competition helps youth develop a healthy skepticism of the industry’s marketing efforts aimed at hooking them young and for life.

Jean Vanier Catholic High School and teacher Peter Tipold, first prize winners in last year’s contest, picked up second prize and an honourable mention for the films “Would You Rather” and “It’s Not Worth It.” Innisdale Secondary School, with supervising teacher Chris Zimmermann, won third place for the video “Code Name—Tobacco.”

Second and third-place winning students get $150 and $100 respectively.

“I’d like to thank the teachers who got involved in the Youth Stomp project this year,” Harbridge said. “Their time is always stretched and to pick up the option of helping students create these videos shows how committed they are, not just to daily teaching tasks, but to the lifelong health of their students."

Deb James was joined in judging panel by Harbridge, public health nurse Joanne McFarland, health unit tobacco program coordinator Leslie Gordon and Kari Merriott, formerly of the Simcoe Youth Action Alliance, article 4.

All four winning videos can be seen on the youth website www.thephakz.ca. More information about the health unit’s tobacco programs can be found at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or by calling Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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