National Smoke-Out Day was an opportunity for teachers in the Massapequa Public School District health department to drive home the dangers of smoking, which is now considered a “gateway drug” among young people. At Massapequa High School - Ames Campus, students took a non-smoking pledge during their health classes and adopted a smoker to help quit. Berner Middle School students listened to guest speaker Frank Mulcahy deliver an impassioned anti-smoking message through an electronic device after losing his voicebox to throat cancer that resulted from years of smoking. “It’s important to be honest with students about the long-term dangers of smoking and drugs abuse,” stated Health Department Chairperson Denise Baldinger. “Our goal is to educate students so that they will refrain from ever picking up a cigarette.”