Nationally known anti-smoking speaker makes stop in New Hartford

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Story Updated: Dec 16, 2009

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - National anti-smoking speaker Rick Stoddard made a stop in New Hartford Wednesday, urging kids not to light up.

Stoddard used a scare tactic with kids at the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Friday morning - his wife died of lung cancer nine years ago. She started smoking when she was 13, and died at 46.

Stoddard says smoking doesn't make you a bad person - it just makes you an addictive person. He hopes his experience will encourage others to kick the habit, and he's devoted his life to spreading the message.

"To make good choices, make good choices," Stoddard said of what he encourages. "I'm always about one-ing up. I do two schools a day, five days a week most times, if I can get one person a day, I feel like I've accomplished what I'm after - one kid a day."

In addition to traveling the country, Stoddard has also written a book about his experiences called "The Burning Truth."

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