BES student wins state t-shirt contest

Published 11:58 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Brookhaven Elementary School student’s anti-tobacco T-shirt design was chosen as the winner from 2,000 entries statewide. 

Ian Gatlin of Brookhaven Elementary School was recently named the grand prize winner of the 2015 Reject All Tobacco T-Shirt Design Contest. In an effort to raise awareness about tobacco use in local schools, the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Copiah and Lincoln Counties sponsored the contest.

The 2015 RAT T-Shirt Design Contest was open to all Mississippi students, fourth through sixth grade. Students were asked to create a design for Terrance the Rat that would help their friends understand the dangers of secondhand smoke. Grand prize, second place and third place winners were selected from the contestants.

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Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Copiah and Lincoln Counties Director Lori Carter said Gatlin won first place out of 2,000 entries throughout the state.

RAT works to prevent young Mississippi children from trying tobacco by teaching them about the health risks early on.

Reject All Tobacco is a program supported and funded through the Mississippi State Department of Health. Each year, Mississippi spends $1.23 billion on healthcare costs associated with tobacco use, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The goal of the MSDH Office of Tobacco Control is to improve the health of all Mississippians through the prevention of tobacco use and the elimination of exposure to secondhand smoke.

To view the winning T-Shirt designs, visit or check them out on Facebook at

The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Copiah and Lincoln Counties is funded by a grant through MSDH. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook at