Tar Wars

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for fourth- and fifth-grade students. The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term, image-based consequences of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth. A follow-up poster contest is conducted at the school, state, and national level to reinforce the Tar Wars message.

Tar Wars Program Information

  • For Coordinators

    Coordinators are responsible for the organization, operation, and administration of Tar Wars in their state. They also run the state's annual poster contest.

  • For Presenters

    Make a difference in your community by educating children about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

  • For Teachers

    Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for fourth- and fifth-graders. Learn how to bring Tar Wars to your school or classroom.

National Student Contests

  • Poster Contest Details

    Students can create and submit posters that feature a creative, positive, tobacco-free message for entry in local, state, and national poster contests.

  • Video Contest Details

    Students can create and submit videos that feature a creative, positive, tobacco-free message.

  • 2013 Student Contest Winners

    View recent winners of the Tar Wars student poster and video contests.


Tar Wars has shown to be effective in increasing students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward tobacco use and advertising and should be considered as one of the building blocks in your school’s comprehensive, tobacco prevention education plan.

Tar Wars is consistent with the guidelines for youth tobacco prevention programs set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tar Wars is supported in part by a grant from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.