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Project information

Cut Films: Smoking prevention for young people

It's simple. We don't want young people to start smoking. We're working with schools and community groups to intervene & encourage young people to research and make short films about the dangers of smoking. They show the films to their friends and also enter them into our national film competition.

September 2011 - July 2012

Charity information: The Deborah Hutton Campaign

The Deborah Hutton Campaign logo
  • Need


    Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death in England. It is estimated that each year 340,000 children under 16 try smoking. And 200,000 children and young people start to smoke regularly.

    The younger the age of uptake for smoking, the greater the harm is likely to be. This includes the risk of developing lung cancer if the child becomes a regular smoker.

    Smoking also increases major inequalities in illness and mortality across areas of high social and economic deprivation.


    The Cut Films national short film competition encourages young people to explore and talk to each other about the risks involved in smoking. Research indicates that children are highly influenced by their friends. By using a medium like film to deliver messages by the young people to show to other young people, we're creating a direct conversation with this vulnerable age group.

    By educating teachers through our resources and campaign they can then support young people to make the films.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise awareness of the competition among stakeholders - teachers and educational providers.


    » PR campaign using national adverts (print and online) in key newspapers, magazines and websites.
    » Two emails to schools and community groups with resource material and lesson plans.

    What success will look like

    Success will be number of downloads of resources, lesson plans, schools signed up to newsletter, schools submitting young people's films. Traffic to the Cut Films website.

    Aim 2

    The creation, upload and sharing of films by children and young people about smoking prevention.


    » Social media including Facebook adverts, Twitter engagement and online support for young people.
    » Competition prizes for best film. Incentives for completing surveys, polls, and sharing with other young people.
    » Awards ceremony for short film winners to celebrate and showcase their achievements.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the upload of 200 films for the competition, increase in Twitter followers and engagement with those followers, number of 'Likes' on Facebook and shares of films.

    Aim 3

    To get young people to think about the dangers of smoking and to not start or to stop.


    » Asking young people to fill out a film diary as they create they film which records their current attitudes to smoking.

    What success will look like

    Success will be completion of film diaries which can be use for research and evidence. Qualitative research from comments posted on videos and positive scores on feedback surveys.

  • Impact


    The project will support the Department of Health's Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England and will focus on the national ambition to reduce rates of regular smoking among 15 year olds by 12% or less by 2015. The process of making the films will also increase confidence in those young people, providing skills and education that can be demonstrated and transferred to the workplace.
    Success will be demonstrated through qualitative research, feedback from stakeholders.


    Risks could include website failure - not being able to upload films, comment on them or share them. Significant investment and testing has already taken place and this is a low risk.


    Through timely e-newsletters, blogs, annual report online which will include with key activity and successes. Where relevant through event invites.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £19,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Stakeholder awareness Adverts in TES, NUT press and stakeholder media.
      £2,000 Lesson plans Development, copywriting, design.
      £1,000 Stakeholder emails Copywriting, design, sending, analysis.
      £1,500 Social media Facebook adverts for young people, prize incentives.
  • Background


    Cut Films is a national initiative to encourage children nationwide to participate. However the gaps in health inequality are more pronounced within areas of social and economic deprivation and we do have a focus on educating young people within these areas. For example we have worked with schools in Hackney and Pupil Referral Units in Cardiff, both hard to reach audiences.


    Young people are the main beneficiaries of the project, developing knowledge, transferable skills, self-confidence and a better understanding of the risks that smoking carries using creativity.

    Teachers and community group workers also benefit from an innovative and engaging project by using free resources providing support to the Healthy Schools scheme.

    Local authorities indirectly benefit from the project and smoking national ambition targets.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have already carried out a very successful pilot phase and year 1 of the national competition, which have been evaluated. Year 2 of the competition is underway. Significant development, research and planning have been invested into creating a project that captures children's imagination and creativity. It allows them to take responsibility for devising smoking prevention messages to educate other young people in a peer-to-peer model.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Charlie Stebbings

    Founding Trustee, Charlie Stebbings is a world renowned commercials film director. Charlie's expertise has been at the heart of the project.

    Emma Wrafter

    The Charity Director leading on the project, Emma's expertise is communications and marketing campaigns for young people.

Watch what we do and be inspired!

The tobacco industry has clung on for 50 years; experts argue that is will take another 25 to finally prise their fingers off our children.

Public Health Research Consortium