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January 5, 2018

Lights, Camera, Action: Health Department Announces Youth Anti-Tobacco Film Festival

David Skorut - Email

(SALT LAKE COUNTY)— To spread awareness of the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes, particularly among youth, this week Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) and Draper Communities that Care launched their first ever Kick Ash Film Festival.

The festival is aimed at youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who live in Salt Lake County and are enrolled in a public, private or charter middle school, junior high or high school. Submissions must be 30–60 seconds long and raise awareness among teens about the dangers of tobacco use; judges—and the public—will award cash and prizes to winning festival submissions.

“We want Salt Lake County youth to stand up, speak out, and seize control against Big Tobacco,” says Julia Glade of the SLCoHD tobacco prevention and cessation program. “Only 56 percent of high school seniors believe e-cigarettes are harmful—a statistic we need to change.”

Suggested topics for film submissions include:

  • The impact of tobacco or nicotine on the body and brain
  • In memory of someone who has died from a tobacco-related disease
  • Tobacco awareness
  • Teen tobacco policy advocacy
  • Tobacco education
  • Big Tobacco’s efforts to entice youth to use their products

“If your friends—and other teens throughout Salt Lake County—were going to watch ONE online video that made them think twice about making bad decisions about tobacco use, what would that video be?” Glade asks. 

Prize sponsors RC Willey and Intermountain Healthcare have come together to offer cash and prizes for first, second and third place, as well as an audience choice award.

The festival will accept submissions until February 28 at 11:59 p.m. There will be a public vote on Facebook between March 2–10 to determine the audience choice award, and organizers will hold a screening for the winning films on March 15 at the Salt Lake County Library's Viridian Event Center.

Full festival rules and submission information is available at