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Keeping You From Smoking: The “Secret Smoker” Target of Health Dept.

PHOTO (public domain): Movie star Humphrey Bogart died of cancer after years of smoking.

JACKSON, Miss.–The Secret Smoker-it’s a new interactive, social media campaign to get your kids talking about smoking and most importantly, according to the Miss. Dept. of Health, to encourage them not to use tobacco.

It was launched this week on the same day as “Kick Butts” day. You can visit Thesecretsmoker.com, and see a new episode every week during the campaign.

The object is to guess who the secret smoker is. There are seven characters on the show and they are all Mississippi kids. The actors were picked from auditions at local high schools and the show is set at Madison St. Joe High School.

After watching the episode, you can comment on Facebook and Twitter and answer trivia questions.

“Mississippi’s teens play a huge role in helping to reduce youth tobacco use in our state,” said Roy Hart, Director of the MSDH Office of Tobacco Control. “Whether it’s through educating peers face to face or by sharing messages through social media, research shows us that teens listen to other teens, the people they trust and look up to. In launching the Secret Smoker campaign, we hope teens will watch and share these webisodes with their peers.”

The Miss. Dept. of Health website says tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 people every year. Each year, 3,100 Mississippi kids under the age of 18 become new, daily smokers. Sixty-eight thousand Mississippi kids now under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

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