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Winning Spots Set To Begin Running June 1st
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             Connecticut Department of Public Health

May 20, 2010                                            Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                  (860) 509-7270



HartfordThe Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that Fudi Xu of Avon Middle School, Avon; Austin Nunes of Berlin High School, Kensington; and Natalie Sequeria of New Milford High School, New Milford; are the winners of the “Tobacco. It’s A Waste.” contest.  Angel Resto of Bunnell High School, Stratford, was the winner in the Spanish language category.  Austin Nunes was also named the grand prize winner for his video, “On Top of Old Smokey”.


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


“The winning videos embody the essence of the ‘Tobacco. It’s A Waste.’ campaign.   The youth and young adults who created these videos found unique and break-through approaches to demonstrate what a waste tobacco is while engaging the viewer,” says DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.  “We believe that these messages created by youth and young adults will help to convince other youth and young adults not to use tobacco.  The level of engagement we’ve experienced with the contest demonstrates the passion that many youth and young adults have for keeping tobacco out of their lives and the lives of their peers.”


            There were 75 videos submitted in the contest.  Over 30,000 votes were cast online during the public voting period of April 21 through May 4 that selected the 18 finalists.  The winners were selected from the 18 finalists by a panel of judges. 


Besides the winners, the finalists included:


Ages 13-14:
Michael Kiaunis, Bailey Middle School, West Haven, “Brighten Your Future”
Josh Wagner, Smith Middle School, Glastonbury, “Hostile Tobacco”
Nancy Atterberry, Washington Middle School, Meriden, “Don’t Smoke”
Patricia Thomson, Amity Regional Middle School, Orange Campus, Orange, “Smoking is a Huge Waste”


Ages 15-17:
Evan Rooney, Oxford High School, Oxford, “Don’t Waste Your Life”
Joe O’Leary and Ryan Longley, Litchfield High School, Litchfield, “Know Tobacco”

Ella Russell, Daniel Hand High School, Madison, “Trash the Ash”

Wesley Sanchez, Joseph A. Foran High School, Milford, “A Recipe for Death”


Ages 18-24:
Zachary Kvietkus, “Burning Bridge”
Ben Ivers, Bacon Academy, Colchester, “You’ll be Begging for Your Life”
Meghan Magner, Beacon Falls, “I’d Rather Smoke”

Shayna, East Hampton, “Smoking Takes Your Breath Away”


Spanish Language:

John Barlow, Woodstock Academy, Eastford, “You Lose Your Life”

Nicole Gugliotti, Woodstock Academy, “No Fume!”


         For more information about the “Tobacco. It’s a Waste.” campaign or to view any of the videos submitted, 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.