H.S. Students Create 'Escape The Vape' PSAs

Wayzata High School freshman Ashley Zhou was voted the contest winner (3:12). WCCO Mid-Morning - April 8, 2021

Video Transcript

- Minnesota high school students were challenged to create a 30-second PSA in the "Escape the Vape" contest.

- Ashley Zhou, a freshman from Wayzata High School, was voted the winner. Take a look.

- Ooh, Tina. Look at these cool vapes. Should we get some?

- Nick, of course not. Did you know that the vaping industry targets teens like us with colorful packaging and exciting flavors? Look, this is a vape compared to our Sour Patch Kids.

- I can't believe the industry is taking advantage of us like that.

- That day, Nick left with something, but it wasn't a vape. It was a lesson that vaping isn't as bad as it sounds.

- We recently Skyped with Ashley about her winning video that was inspired by watching YouTube videos.

Ashley, thank you so much for being with us this morning. First of all, congratulations here. Tell us how this all came about.

ASHLEY ZHOU: Yeah, so the whole competition was sent out to a club that I'm in, called Club YES. And it's like a volunteering, Youth Extending Services group, where we kind of just try to do, like, a bunch of projects to help the community. So I saw this one and I thought it'd be a good opportunity. So I decided to do it.

- And so it's called the "Escape the Vape" contest. Tell us about your video and the message behind it.

ASHLEY ZHOU: Yeah, so the video I did kind of tried to send the message of how messed up the industry, I guess, is. Because they try to target towards youth and, like, use all these flavors and colors to kind of make it more appealing to younger kids, which I think is really dangerous.

- When it comes to vaping and your friend group, is this a problem among teenagers, folks your age, your friends? Do you talk about this a lot?

ASHLEY ZHOU: Yeah. I feel like part of the issue is that we don't talk about it enough. But like, on social media, I see it everywhere. It's all over Instagram. And it's kind of presented as a cool thing for my age. But yeah, I feel like we should talk about why it's an issue more.

- And we know that you just had it back in school in person a couple of weeks ago. How's everything going in school this year?

ASHLEY ZHOU: Yeah, it's definitely not what I expected. But I think I'm really privileged to be able to go to school and [AUDIO OUT] be able to learn with a community.

- Well, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. You let your parents know that watching all those YouTube videos, that apparently it pays off. Congratulations.

- Thank you.

- Thank you.

CCF Advertising partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health for the contest. Ashley was awarded a $500 prize for her winning video.