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Rick Stoddard    

Anti-Smoking Activist; Author of "The Burning Truth"

Rick Stoddard is an anti-smoking activist, recognized for his 2001 Super Bowl public service announcement. Since then, Rick has become a prolific campaigner, speaking about the dangers of tobacco use and the marketing tactics employed by the tobacco industry.

Stoddard started campaigning against smoking shortly after his wife, Marie, was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 1999 due to cigarette smoking. Marie died five and a half months later in January 2000. Stoddard decided to share his wife's story in the form of several television and radio announcements for the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. Those localized public service announcements gained notoriety and soon became part of a national campaign which was featured during the 2001 Super Bowl, in which he detailed his wife's death from lung cancer at age 46, stating that "I guess I never thought of 23 as middle aged."

Since then, he has been a speaker at various schools and colleges across America. As part of these campaigns, Stoddard typically shares his personal experiences and provides in-depth, educational information on marketing tactics that tobacco companies use to lure non-smokers. He also speaks to teachers, school administrators and local politicians. During one of these presentations he made clear his views towards the tobacco companies: "When the tobacco industry states they will not advertise to youngsters in this country, they are lying, plain and simple. I travel all around the country talking to anyone trying to stop this and if I can stop one teenager from smoking, that’s a good day."

Reportedly, Stoddard is on the road up to 200 days a year, leaving little time for his previous career as a carpenter. Stoddard's book, "The Burning Truth," was selected in 2002 as an Honorary Hoosier by Governor Frank O'Bannon of Indiana and was also awarded the national ATOD 2003 Community Based Leadership Award by the American Public Health Association and an honorable Kentucky Colonel by Governor Ernie Fletcher in 2007.

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