One thing that makes Frosty the Snowman different from just any snowman is that he smokes a corncob pipe.

This holiday season, the American Lung Association of Northern Virginia will sponsor a contest for Virginia children, ages 10 and under, to write a letter to Frosty, convincing him to give up the pipe.

"We want to make children more aware of the hazards of smoking, and we are looking for creative, legible letters that will convince Frosty to stop," says spokeswoman Deborah Winter.

The prizes -- gift certificates worth $200, $100 and $50 that can be used at Tysons Corner Center -- will be awarded to the top three letters persuading Frosty to kick the habit for good. The awards ceremony will be held Dec. 20.

"Three or 4 percent of the age group, 10 and under, smoke or experiment with smoking," said Lisa Joyner, program manager at the Lung Association. "And about 85 percent of the people who begin smoking start between the ages of 10 and 20."

"If they start, it will be between seventh and ninth grade, so we want to give them enough information and social skills to resist beginning the habit," Joyner said. "Adolescents aren't aware of how difficult it is to quit later on."

To enter the contest, write: Letters to Frosty Contest, c/o American Lung Association of Northern Virginia, 9735 Main St., Fairfax, Va. 22031. Letters must be postmarked by Dec. 13. For more information, call: 591-4131.