Siteman to Recognize Students Who Live Tobacco Free 

Contact:
Jim Goodwin
314-286-0166
jgoodwin@wustl.edu

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Nov. 9, 2012 – Almost one in five Missouri high school students smokes cigarettes, a deadly addiction that lowers individual life expectancy by years and costs the state billions of dollars annually.

To reach children before their first puff, the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine is sponsoring Keep Kids Tobacco Free, an essay and T-shirt design contest held at two local middle schools.

This year’s winners will be announced:

  • Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. at Windsor Middle School, 6208 Highway 61-67 in Imperial (map)
  • Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. at Jefferson Intermediate School, 2660 Zumbehl Road in St. Charles (map)

“Missouri’s high school smoking rate is higher than the national average and worse than 36 other states,” says Siteman director Timothy Eberlein, MD, citing statistics from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Our children deserve better, and Keep Kids Tobacco Free is a great way to help students understand the dangers of tobacco before they pick up the habit.” 

Students at Windsor Middle and Jefferson Intermediate schools submitted either a T-shirt design or an essay encouraging young people to live smoke free. At both schools, the first-place winner in each category will receive a $100 gift certificate to an area shopping mall. Second- and third-place winners each will receive a $50 gift certificate. In addition, the winning design at each school will be turned into T-shirts that will be distributed to all participating students.

The essay and T-shirt contests are meant to reinforce the anti-tobacco message middle schoolers might not have heard since elementary school.