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Young People Say “Tobacco—I’m Not Buying It”

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Contact: OASH Press Office
(202) 205-0143

Surgeon General announces video contest winners

Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin today named the winners of the Surgeon General’s Video Contest for Youth and Young Adults. Each of the winners created a video based on the contest theme, “Tobacco – I’m Not Buying It.”  In conjunction with the Surgeon General’s Report, “Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults,” released earlier this year, youth aged 13-17 and young adults aged 18-25 were invited to develop original videos that feature one or more of these 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.

“Today's teens and young adults continue to be exposed to images that make tobacco use appealing and encourage them to smoke,” said Dr. Benjamin. “This year’s Surgeon General’s Report makes it clear that we cannot hope to end the tobacco epidemic without solving the problem of tobacco use among youth and young adults. Engaging young people to become part of the solution is critical to our success, and that’s why I am so pleased to announce the video contest winners today.”

Contest participants created videos focused on the health impacts of tobacco use and how young people perceive influences from their peers and the tobacco industry through targeted products and marketing.  After a period of public voting, winners were selected from the top ten entries by a panel of tobacco prevention and control experts.

For more information on the Surgeon General’s Video Contest for Youth and Young Adults and winning videos, please visit and follow @SGRegina or @CDCTobaccoFree on Twitter and use #SGReport to join the conversation.