Winning videos to become new tobacco prevention ad campaign


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         Connecticut Department of Public Health

April 22, 2010                                       Contact: William Gerrish

                                                              (860) 509-7270



Hartford – The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that 29 youth and young adults across the state are one step closer to having their video become part of the state’s tobacco prevention ad campaign.  DPH announced the competition’s semi-finalists in three age categories: 13-14,15-17, and 18-24.  Online voting for the winning videos is also available at


The “Tobacco. It’s A Waste.” contest encouraged youth and young adults to develop 25-second videos that demonstrated what a waste tobacco is – a waste of money, time, health, life, etc.  The winning spots will air as television commercials in Connecticut over the next one to two years as part of the state’s tobacco prevention efforts.  In addition to seeing their commercials on air, contest winners will also receive prizes including a Blu-Ray DVD player and the chance to win the grand prize of tickets and a private meet and greet to this season’s American Idol concert tour.


The 29 semi-finalists are:


Age 13-14:
Jimmy McOmber, Windsor, “No Tobacco”

Jillian Mitchell, Brookfield, “Consequences Tobacco”

Izzy Kominski, Redding, “Tobacco Rap”
Michael Kiaunis, West Haven, “Brighten Your Future”
Josh Wagner, Glastonbury, “Hostile Tobacco”
Emily Carlo, Greenwich, “It’s A Waste”

Fudi Xu, Avon, “Pledge To Know Enough” and “Knowing More”

Nancy Atterberry, Meriden, “Don’t Smoke”
Patricia Thomson, Orange, “Smoking is a Huge Waste”


Ages 15-17:
Dan McCarthy, New Milford, “I’d Rather”

Dan Boisvier, Willimantic, “Don’t Smoke /Smoking PSA”
Evan Rooney, Oxford, “Don’t Waste Your Life”
Monica Vandehei, Ivoryton, “Don’t Smoke”
Austin Nunes, Kensington, “On Top of Old Smokey”
Jordan Dudley, Stratford, “Train Wreck”
Joe O’Leary and Ryan Longley, Litchfield, “Know Tobacco”

Shaquille Brewster, Stratford, “It Stinks”

Ella Russell, Madison, “Trash the Ash”

Wesley Sanchez, Milford, “A Recipe for Death”


Ages 18-24:
Kyle Morgan, Gales Ferry, “Traitor”

Sarah Brown, Canterbury, “Just a Heads Up”
Zachary Kvietkus, “Burning Bridge”
Ben Ivers, Colchester, “You’ll be Begging for Your Life”
Gary Ahlberg, Colchester, “Don’t Smoke Berkleys”
Jason Mangles, North Haven, “Smoking Kills”
Natalie Sequeira, New Milford, “Is It Really Worth It?”
Meghan Magner, Beacon Falls, “I’d Rather Smoke”
Shayna, East Hampton, “Smoking Takes Your Breath Away”


            We had an amazing response to the contest.  Finding the right words to reach someone in a 25-second message is difficult, but these kids and young adults came up with some very creative ways to prevent their peers from using tobacco,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J Robert Galvin.  “I would like to personally thank each of the contestants for their hard work and creativity in making these videos.  They worked hard to create memorable tobacco prevention messages and it shows.”


A 30-minute special featuring the semi-finalists will air this weekend on Saturday, April 24 at 12:30pm on FOX61 (WTIC-TV) and again on Sunday, April 25 at 4:30 PM on CW20 (WTXX-TV).  During the show, and for one hour afterwards, the general public will be able to text their vote using their mobile phones for their favorite videos.  Online voting at will run through May 4.  The entries with the most votes will automatically advance to the finalist round.  A panel of judges comprised of community leaders and experts from the Department of Public Health will view all finalist videos.  Each video will be judged on a detailed set of criteria and one winner for each category will be chosen.  Winners will be announced in May.


The contest also had a special category for Spanish-language submissions and five semi-finalists will move forward in that category.


For more information about the “Tobacco. It’s a Waste.” campaign and complete contest information and rules, please visit


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.