Take Down Tobacco Day Contest

Take Down Tobacco Logo (002)


Take Down Tobacco Day, a fresh take on Kick Butts Day, is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ signature platform for empowering people to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. The Take Down Tobacco program is a 365 day a year effort that culminates every spring with the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action. Learn more on the Take Down Tobacco Day website.

The tobacco industry peddles products that addict, sicken and kill. So how do they get people to use products like that? They have to fool them. They use youth-oriented marketing to make it seem cool, brightly-colored packaging to make it seem fun, and sweet flavors to make it seem harmless – all to hook another generation. Now, they’re trying to position themselves as “responsible” and “reformed,” as they vigorously fight efforts to reduce tobacco use and spend billions of dollars a year on marketing for their deadly and addictive products, much of it aimed at youth. They’ve even taken advantage of COVID-19 to push their products! It's time to expose all their foolery.


Beginning in 2022, the Orange County Office on Youth joined the effort to Take Down Tobacco companies and their harmful products! The Orange County Office on Youth offers many grant-funded programs to expand the opportunities available to youth and families in our area. Some of these programs are supported by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY). Established by the General Assembly, VFHY is responsible for statewide efforts to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use and childhood obesity. In accordance with that mission, the Office on Youth hosted their inaugural Take Down Tobacco Day Contest.  This contest was created In response to increasing tobacco use, particularly of flavored products, among Orange County youth. It encouraged middle and high school aged students to create and submit original advertisements with messaging discouraging the use of flavored tobacco products by young people. Entries were accepted Monday, February 14, 2022 through Monday, March 14, 2022. Those submitting entries were encouraged to be creative. Contest rules were very open-ended in regards to style, format, and medium.

A panel of four (4) judges reviewed each of the eighteen (18) submissions with an eye for message, creativity, presentation, and impact. The competition was very close in both the middle and high school divisions. So close, in fact, a tie resulted in two (2) high school winners being recognized. The winners were announced on the 2022 National Day of Action, April 1st. Click the screenshots below to view the winning entries.

Screenshot of Middle School Division Winner's Submission Opens in new windowScreenshot of High School Division Winner's Submission Opens in new windowScreenshot of High School Division Winner's Submission Opens in new window

Julia Painter, Grade 8, PHMS     Nicholas Edelman, Grade 12, OCHS     John Mason Vines, Grade 12, OCHS   

To help them continue to pursue their creative ambitions and education, each winner received an iPad Pro and a $250 scholarship to apply towards photography or video editing software. The Office on Youth plans to use many of the submitted advertisements to help combat youth tobacco use in Orange County. 

For more information about this and other grant-funded Office on Youth programs, please contact the Office on Youth at (540) 672-5484.

2023 Contest Information

Please check back in February 2023 for official guidelines and judging criteria for the 2023 Orange County Take Down Tobacco Day Contest.