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WRITER: KATE THAYER
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
5139 Westlawn
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 384-4638
e-mail: david-pedersen@uiowa.edu

Release: May 1, 2001

UI sponsors anti-smoking video contest for local students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Public Health will sponsor an anti-smoking video commercial contest in order to educate students about the dangers of smoking.

The Iowa Department of Public Health and 4 Counties 4 Tobacco Control, a committee that offers tobacco prevention and control programs funded by the state's tobacco settlement funds, will also sponsor the event.

"Smokin' Ads for the Small Screen" is a contest offered to junior high, high school and college students in Cedar, Iowa, Johnson and Washington counties. The entries, due May 25, must be 30-second, anti-tobacco commercials developed by students. Applicants must also complete a registration form, available online at www.smokinads.com, and mail to "Smokin' Ads" by May 4.

The top three entries in three categories (seventh and eighth grade, ninth through twelfth grade and college) will receive $500, $250 and $100 prizes. Winners will be announced at a film festival Friday, June 8 at 7p.m.in Buchanan Auditorium at the UI Tippie School of Business.

Wayne Johnson, a trauma investigator in the UI College of Public Health, said the entries will be judged on creative content, rather than technical aspects. The Iowa Department of Public Health will consider the ideas in the winning students' commercials for possible production.

"This contest is an excellent way to get kids thinking about the art of communication, along with the dangers of smoking," Johnson said.

Johnson said he hopes to make the commercial contest an annual event and hopes to generate an interest from TV stations in the area.

Registrations must be mailed to Smokin' Ads, P.O. Box 2328, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. For more information, call Wayne Johnson at (319) 335-4351 or inquire at the contest Web site: www.smokinads.com.