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December 2012 Issue

Siteman Recognizes Students Who Live Tobacco Free

Jefferson Intermediate
Windsor Middle School winning T-shirt design

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 sponsors Keep Kids Tobacco Free, an essay and T-shirt design contest held at local middle schools.

This year, students at Windsor Middle School in Imperial, Mo., and Jefferson Intermediate
School in St. Charles, Mo., 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 received a $100 gift certificate to an area shopping mall. Second- and third-place winners each received a $50 gift certificate. In addition, the winning design at each school was turned into T-shirts that were distributed to all participating students.

To read the winning essays, click on the links below:

Jefferson Intermediate
Jefferson Intermediate School winning T-shirt design

"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."

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