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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Campaign against tobacco coming to area middle schools

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

(Photo)
Rick Stoddard
He may not be recognized on first glance, but there is a good chance most people have seen Rick Stoddard before.

Stoddard told his story of losing his wife, Marie, at age 46 to lung cancer on a pubic service announcement during the 2001 Super Bowl, finishing with the powerful statement, "I guess I never thought of 23 as middle aged."

After his wife's passing, he took his anti-tobacco campaign on the road. He's spoken to students all around the United States about the manipulative tactics tobacco companies use to attract new smokers and the dangers of using tobacco.

Students have heard the tobacco talk before, but Stoddard's presentation seems to affect audiences in a stronger way.

He has also been a part of creating VOICE, the Indiana youth movement against tobacco, in 2001. Stoddard believes today's students have a better chance of stopping the tobacco companies than his generation does.

In recognition of his work, Stoddard was awarded the "Honorary Hoosier" title from former Indiana Governor Ed O'Bannon in 2002.

On Monday, Feb. 18, middle school students in Clay County will have the opportunity to hear Stoddard speak.

He is talking at North Clay Middle School at 9 and 10 a.m., and at Clay City Junior High Students at 1:30 p.m.

Kandace Brown, the Clay County Tobacco Coordinator, is welcoming Stoddard into the schools.

The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Coalition is funding the program.

Brown said the presentation is kicking off a new campaign for the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-Quit-Now (784-8669).

The Quitline offers support to tobacco users of all kinds, from pregnant smokers to those who have already quit and do not want to relapse.

When someone calls the Quitline, a trained person will work with the caller to create a personal plan, including "practical counseling" and a free quit kit.

The "Quit Coach" can offer helpful tips on coping with cravings and changing behavior patterns. They can even offer help with avoiding weight gain, which often accompanies quitting.

The Quitline is available 24-hours-a-day, and more information is available at www.indianaquitline.net.



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