A creative way to help kids say no to smoking

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National anti-smoking charity, The Deborah Hutton Campaign, has just launched its Cut Films competition, challenging young people to make a short creative film about ‘why smoking isn’t cool’.

The national launch of the competition follows a successful pilot in nine schools and one youth club last Autumn, and has already attracted widespread support, including from national charity, No Smoking Day and their celebrity ambassador, singer Lemar.

The innovative Cut Films competition encourages young people to research, write and produce a short film about the dangers of smoking using a simple camcorder or mobile phone. It also enables them to upload and share their films with other young people online, using popular social media sites such as You Tube and Facebook.

Lucinda Shaw, Campaign Director said: “I think what makes it really popular with young people, is that this isn’t just a bunch of adults lecturing them or telling them not to smoke - it’s about young people themselves getting together, getting creative and getting their views on smoking out there.”   

Running in conjunction with schools and youth clubs nationwide, the competition is now open for entries. Winning films will be announced on No Smoking Day, which is Wednesday 9th March, 2011, and premiered at an exclusive Awards Ceremony in London. 

The Cut Films competition is simple to take part in and can be run within school curriculum as part of a range of Key Stage 3 core subjects, or as part of GCSE/BTEC media studies courses. It can also be delivered as an extra-curricular activity in schools and youth clubs or young people can do it in their own time.  Further information about taking part is available on the Cut Films website at: www. cutfilms.org.

In England today, there are over 2 million fewer adult smokers than there were a decade ago, but it is estimated that around 250,000 more people in England will start smoking this year. The majority of these will be under the age of 18.

The launch of Cut Films supports the Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Strategy published in February 2010, which outlines the need ‘to stop the inflow of young people recruited as smokers’ as the first of its three key objectives, offering a creative, fun initiative which empowers young people to choose a smokefree future, and to encourage their peers to do the same.