Stop Kids From Smoking: This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
My whole childhood I received messages about the negative affects of smoking. Blackened lungs, increased risk of cancer, and general bad health effects. Now that I am a dad I have to pass this information down to my child, and I see I am competing with a lot of ads focused on trying to get him to smoke – sometimes it feels like tobacco ads are far too enticing for our young people (this is not a real ice cream truck!):
We know that smoking is harmful, so we have to do everything possible to not let kids start smoking, and to reduce the smoking by the ones who have picked up the habit. I was absolutely shocked to learn that the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13! That is horrible! I cannot imagine all those beautiful little kids at my son’s Bar Mitzvah (an event that happens when Jewish kids turn 13) smoking!
This is why the “Seen Enough Tobacco” campaign is so important to me, my family, and to all my family and friends, and everyone out there with children! Smoking is harmful to your health! But how do you communicate to your kids the real dangers of using tobacco? It looks cool, the suave kids in school may smoke, and the advertisements pushing cigarettes are everywhere. And sometimes more than one store on a block in NYC is selling cigarettes:
Plus, e-cigarettes have exacerbated the use of nicotine products among young people, I see it every day in the streets of Manhattan. It is horrible,. We focused so much on the negative effects of smoking that e-cigarettes snuck in with their cooler appeal and different flavors! E-cigarette use among high school students rose 160% between 2014-2018. And I have seen middle schoolers using these as well, that is much too young for this bad habit to start to form! My own local convenience store doesn’t sell cigarettes anymore, but the e-cigarettes are just above the candy that the kids are buying, right at the check-out:
We parents have to take more and stronger actions, it is up to us to protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores: we all have to sign the pledge today!
Parents must all work together to enact change in New York State. Smoking will never stop, but at least lets do the ground work so that our kids do not start this bad habit!