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Youth to Hold Anti-Tobacco Rally at Statehouse Today

Smoking-No SmokingBOSTON (AP) — Young anti-smoking activists are headed to the Statehouse to urge support of policies aimed at keeping children away from tobacco.

Wednesday’s march and rally in Boston is among events scheduled nationwide as part of the annual “Kick Butts Day.” The students are expected to hear from state health officials and meet with legislators.

According to the group, about 14 percent of Massachusetts high school students currently smoke and 6,700 kids under the age of 18 in the state take up smoking each year.

Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed a $1 hike in the cigarette tax to $3.51 per pack as one of several tax changes to generate new revenue for transportation and education. Proponents say the higher tax would help discourage young people from smoking.

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