Escape the Vape

minnesota department of health

Escape the Vape Minnesota is excited to announce that Ashley Zhou, a 9th grader from Wayzata High School, is the inaugural winner of the Escape the Vape Minnesota contest. Her video “Vaping is Not Sweet” received the most votes out of the top 5 finalists. First prize is $1,000, with the total prize being split 50/50 between Ashley and Wayzata High School.

"I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a video like this,” said Ashley. “I hope that it will encourage my peers to resist vaping."

Each of the finalists will be awarded a prize for their video submission, ranging from $250 for the second-place video submission to $50 for the fifth-place winner. The other winning videos came from:

2nd place: Quinn Hendel, 9th grade, Henry Sibley High School

3rd place: Arielle Pickerign, 12th grade, Minnehaha Academy

4th place: Trevor Lien and Akshay Somayajula, 9th grade, Mounds Park Academy

5th place: Andrew Lawson, 9th grade, Orono High School

Escape the Vape, a vaping/e-cigarette prevention video contest for Minnesota high school students launched in early 2021, had more than 110 statewide entries in the first year of the competition. From there, the top five finalists were selected by the Minnesota Youth Council (MYC), a statewide group of youth leaders who work to create equitable systems through youth-led outreach, education, and advocacy. Online public voting to choose the winning submissions took place from March 9 – March 23, 2021, on the Escape the Vape website.

Learn more about the contest and watch the winning videos at

About the Escape the Vape

Escape the Vape is a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Health, CCF Advertising, Tobacco-Free Alliance; Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; MN Youth Council, MNAAP, and Allina Health Change to Chill. While all uniquely different organizations, they’re each united in a strong desire to undo the damage vaping has done to teen health. Learn more and join the cause at

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