A YOUNG Wirral filmmaker warns of the dangers of smoking in a film that has been entered in a regional contest.

'Decay', by Sophie Price, is in the running for an award in North West Cut Films 2012/13 short film competition.

It is run by The Deborah Hutton Campaign and the Smoke & Mirrors youth anti-tobacco project, which asked young people across the North West to research tobacco marketing or smoking in the media, make a two-minute short film about it for their friends, upload to the competition website and share it on their social media.

It is their take on the issues associated with youth smoking.

Winners of the competition will be revealed during a prestigious awards ceremony at The Printworks Odeon in Central Manchester on January 28. Voting ends a week on Friday, November 30.

Sophie, 18, from Heswall, said: "The project was a lot of fun! The most fun I've had entering a film competition so far, as I worked with some of my good friends on it who made it and enjoyable experience, not just a stressful slog!

"I think something I particularly enjoyed was seeing people's reactions to the film; I think the dramatic touch has managed to put a lot of young people off smoking!

"All in all it was a fun and enjoyable competition to be part of and I'd be happy whatever the outcome is."

Each County in the North West will have a 'Popular Choice' winner as voted for by the general public.

An overall North West winner will be chosen by a special judging panel based on a set of criteria.

The panel will be made up of North West media personalities, a young person and national tobacco control experts.

Cut Films charity director Emma Wrafter said: "It's a fact that two-thirds of smokers start smoking before the age of 18.

"And in England alone 150,000 young people aged between 11-15 are regular smokers.

"When we still have 100,000 people dying each year in the UK from smoking related illnesses, talking to young people about the risks is vital.

"Congratulations to Sophie Price for making the film and standing up to Big Tobacco. Good luck in the competition!"

Andrea Crossfield, director of Tobacco Free Futures who is funding the competition said: "Young people in the North West feel very strongly about the tobacco industry targeting them and their friends through the media and glitzy cigarette packaging.

"Our region is leading the way in the UK on youth tobacco issues, with research findings suggesting eight out of 10 young people in the North West think that the Government should do more to tackle smoking.

"This competition is a great way to express their ideas on an issue they are passionate about, helping to make smoking history for young people."

To vote for Sophie's film go to www.cutfilms.org and press the vote button and search for 'Decay' in the North West Cut Films section.

Visit www.cutfilms.org/smokeandmirrors to find out more.