Arkansas Students Use Artistic Talent to Illustrate an Alternative to Tobacco

Stamp Out Smoking Announces 2014 Coloring, Sketch, and Art Contests

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (February 12, 2014) – The Arkansas Department of Health has launched its statewide youth tobacco prevention contests.  The theme for the 2014 Coloring, Sketch and Art Contests is “Natural State vs. Tobacco State,” and was created by members of the Arkansas Kids with the Tobacco Control Youth Board and the Youth Extinguishing Smoking Team.  Intended to generate a dialogue about tobacco use and the harmful side effects it has on the human body and the environment, the “Natural State vs. Tobacco State” contests encourage youth to envision an alternative to tobacco by using their artistic talent and imagination.

Each contest is implemented based on age group.  The Coloring Contest allows students in grades K – 3 to color their way to a brighter, tobacco-free tomorrow, or demonstrate how tobacco use can turn their future and the environment dark and gloomy.  Participants in the Sketch Contest, grades 4 – 8, will use markers, pens, pencils, charcoal, or pastels to illustrate a clean, healthy, tobacco-free future, or one that is polluted, unhealthy and tobacco-filled.  Grades 9 – 12 will compete in the Art Contest, using paint, mixed media, markers, pens, pencils, charcoal, or pastels to create their interpretation of the “Natural State” or “Tobacco State.”

The “Natural State vs. Tobacco State” theme gives Arkansas students the opportunity to consider the benefits of a life without tobacco versus a future clouded by cigarettes and other tobacco products.  “This contrast encourages our youth to consider all the different ways they can help make the Natural State and their lives smoke-free,” said Dr. Gary Wheeler, medical director of the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.

Entries are limited to one per student.  Contest entries for respective contests must be postmarked by the following dates to be eligible for prizes:

  • Coloring       March 21
  • Sketch           March 28
  • Art                 March 28

Schools with 100 percent participation from its student body will be entered to win $1,000 to purchase art supplies.  First-, second-, and third-place prizes will be awarded for each grade.   Winners for each contest will be announced on and on the Project Prevent Facebook page, by 5 p.m., on the following dates:

  • Coloring       April 18
  • Sketch           April 23
  • Art                 April 25

The “Natural State vs. Tobacco State” Coloring, Sketch, and Art Contests are tobacco prevention activities for the SOS campaign, the media and public education component of the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.

Students are encouraged to visit for the latest contest information and explore to learn more about how they can become tobacco control advocates.  Parents and teachers can also learn about tobacco control, cessation, and advocacy by following SOS on  For more information on the Essay Contest, contact Pam Jones at or (501) 975-7224.  For additional information on other tobacco prevention programs in your area, contact the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program office at (501) 661-2953 or visit