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Some of the hand-painted rocks decorated for Kick Butts Day. The intention of the rocks is to motivate current smokers to kick the habit.

LIVE OAK — Looking for a new way to make a difference, a group of area students decided to “Rock the Town” on Tuesday.

As part of Wednesday’s national Kick Butts Day, a local Students Working Against Tobacco group hid 75 rocks around Live Oak on Tuesday.

The rocks, which the students painted, all included the 1-877-U-CAN-NOW quit line number, which provides counseling and nicotine patches or gum to those who need it.

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All of the rocks hidden by the local SWAT club contained the 1-877-U-CAN-NOW quit line number.

“It’s just a way for us to get out in the community and spread that if people can kick the habit for a day, hopefully they’ll realize they can kick the habit forever,” said Heidi Hofer, the group’s sponsor.

“That’s the theory behind ‘Kick Butts Day.’”

This year was the 22nd annual Kick Butts Day, where students encourage their peers to be tobacco-free, reject tobacco companies’ marketing and urge elected officials to help make the next generation tobacco-free.

In Florida, tobacco use claims 32,300 lives and costs $8.64 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 4.2 percent of Florida’s high school students smoke.

Last year, the local SWAT group, which includes students from Lafayette and Suwannee counties, picked up cigarette butts around the springs in the area.

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One of the rocks was hidden inside the Arise Coffee Bar. Seventy-rocks were hidden all around town.

Hofer, who supervises the group from Melody Christian Academy, said the club decided as a group to go with the painted rock idea to do something different.

And in the process, they are hoping it makes a difference.

“It’s a nice way to get out in the community and help,” Lindsey Hofer said.

Makinzy Frazier added: “We want to help the community.”

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