Health Department launches secret smoker series

From press reports

Mississippi youth in Choctaw, Montgomery, and Webster Counties will recognize Kick Butts Day 2014 on March 19 by launching a new social media campaign called Secret Smoker.

Kick Butts Day is a national day for activism when thousands of youth around the world will speak up and stand out against the tobacco industry. As part of this year’s Kick Butts Day celebration, the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Choctaw, Montgomery, and Webster Counties is joining with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) to launch a web series that will have youth all around the state asking, “Who is the Secret Smoker?”

“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 Secret Smoker campaign premieres March 19 and will reveal new

cliff-hanging episodes for the next five weeks on social media sites and YouTube, as well as On the website, viewers can vote on who they think the Secret Smoker is after each episode, play games where they must find something in each episode, answer trivia questions about the episodes on Facebook, engage in character profiles, and interact through Facebook and Twitter to determine which character is the Secret Smoker.

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.

“Kick Butts Day is an opportunity for participating youth to speak out and tell others they are not going to be influenced by pressure to use tobacco products. While Kick Butts Day is officially held on one day each year, our hope is that every day will be Kick Butts Day in the fight against tobacco.” said Keetha Mosley Project Director of Choctaw, Montgomery, and Webster Counties.

For more information on the Secret Smoker series, visit or follow @whosthesecretsmoker on Facebook and Twitter.