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Young people from across the borough have until Friday to submit their entries to the Cut Films competition, organised by the Deborah Hutton Campaign.

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During the last eight weeks, London24 has supported the campaign which seeks to stop young people from smoking for the first time.

With an estimated 340,000 children taking up the habit in England each year, it remains one of the biggest risks to the health of young people.

Though figures show there has been a decline in the number of school age children taking up tobacco, there are enough who do to cause concern.

The life and death of Deborah Hutton is a stark reminder of the dangers of smoking.

The highly-acclaimed journalist smoked as a young woman between the ages of 16 and 24 – and was diagnosed with lung cancer 25 years later. She died in 2005 at the age of 49.

Since her death, her family and friends – led by husband Charlie Stebbings – have sought to honour her memory by launching the campaign to stop young people putting their lives at risk by warning about the dangers of smoking.

The Cut Films contest is at the centre of the campaign. Young people research, write and direct their own short film aimed at deterring their contemporaries from smoking.

The judges of the competition include children’s author Anthony Harowitz and London-based GP and stop smoking specialist Dr Alex Bobak.

Dr Bobak said: “Cut Films is an innovative project because it focuses on peer-to-peer interaction with young people talking to their friends about the dangers of smoking, rather than adults lecturing them. I am delighted to be part of such a worthwhile initiative.”

The awards ceremony will take place at BAFTA on July 5. Anthony and T4 TV presenter Will Best will host.

Emma Wrafter, director of The Deborah Hutton Campaign and Cut Films, said: “We are delighted that Anthony Horowitz and Will Best will be presenting the awards to the winning filmmakers on the night.

“The Cut Films competition offers young people a creative way to explore the dangers of smoking while also learning valuable transferable skills.”

As well as an overall prize there is a special Archant London award for the best film from the capital.

Winning entrants could scoop Kindles, iPods and festival tickets plus recognition for creating an acclaimed piece of film.

Entries must be received by Friday and voting ends on April 30.

If you still wish to submit an entry to the competition, visit www.cutfilms.org for more information.

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