Students from 38 States Recognized for Achievements in National Tar Wars Poster Contest

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

WASHINGTON — Alexa Barrett, a fifth-grader from American Falls, Idaho, was named the 2009 Tar Wars national poster contest winner Monday, July 13, at a ceremony during the Tar Wars National Conference in Washington, D.C. As the national poster contest winner, Barrett receives a family trip to Disney World worth up to $3,000.

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program administered by the American Academy of Family Physicians that increases students’ awareness of attitudes about tobacco use and the effects of tobacco on the body. Since it was established in 1988, Tar Wars has reached more than 8 million children with its tobacco-free message.

The Tar Wars program culminates with its annual poster contest, which encourages children to create posters that emphasize the positive aspects of not using tobacco.

In addition to Barrett, three runners-up, six honorable mentions and the state-level poster contest winners were recognized at the awards ceremony. All state winners in attendance received a prize packet and a special gift.


  • Second place: Brittney Paschal — Scottsboro, Ala.
  • Third place: Cathy Yang — Superior, Colo.
  • Fourth place: McKenzie Freeman — Greenfield, Ind.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Fifth place: Jasper Warren — Canton, Miss.
  • Sixth place: Kyla Vigdor — Washington, D.C.
  • Seventh place: Courtney Monier — LeRoy, Ill.
  • Eight place: Madeleine VanLeunen — Chesterfield, Mo.
  • Ninth place: Amy Smith — Henderson, Nev.
  • Tenth place: Rebecca Robinson — Spruce Pine, N.C.

The winning posters were chosen from 38 entries, all of which were winners of state-level Tar Wars poster contests. Posters were judged on their artistry, creativity, originality and their ability to communicate a clear and positive message about being tobacco-free.

Digital images of all winning posters can be downloaded from Poster artwork is also displayed in schools and is reproduced on promotional items available at

In addition to recognizing poster contest winners, the Tar Wars National Conference allows students to voice their opinions about tobacco use and tobacco legislation to their congressional leaders during visits to Capitol Hill.

Tar Wars is the only youth tobacco education program offered at this time by a medical specialty organization in the United States. It reaches approximately 400,000 students annually. Family physicians and other health care professionals present Tar Wars programs to fourth- and fifth-graders in their local schools, during which they talk with youth about how tobacco makes one’s breath smell and how smoking can impair one’s ability to be active and play sports. The students also learn about practical issues, such as how much it costs to use tobacco for a week, a month, a year and over a lifetime.

Tar Wars has been presented in all 50 states as well as in Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

If you would like to interview one of the students or one of the family physicians who presents the Tar Wars program, please call Adam Lee at (800) 274-2237, ext. 5221.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,