This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Stopping Big Tobacco Advertising to Kids: We Have Seen Enough Tobacco
It has been over 9 years since I quit smoking and just recently I had to have a discussion with my oldest about tobacco. He has just come of age where he is noticing the tobacco advertising in stores, as he’s very observant and likes to talk about new signs in stores all the time.
The alarming statistic that 13 is the average age of a new smoker in New York. This is a prime age whereas parents we start discussing dating, bullying, and what they may want to do in the future. While there may be many factors that play into why a child starts smoking, such as peer pressure, as parents we are able to be the first line of defense to help them know the dangers.
It is important to me to make sure that my children know how tobacco will affect their health, as I have first-hand experience seeing friends and family members suffer. When speaking about tobacco with my child, I bring up the things that he currently enjoys doing.
Such as how he likes to run fast with his friends, climb up hills and go for bike rides. All of these fun activities are things that can become a problem after tobacco takes its effect on lungs. I’ve asked him to take a big deep breath and talked about how it used to be difficult for me when I was a smoker and how it lead to me having to use inhalers (which I am now off of). While this discussion was not easy it was great that he talked about how he loved being able to play and run without worrying about his breathing and that it wouldn’t be fun to have to stop doing them.
With tobacco companies spending billions of dollars to put their products in front of the eyes of our children. I know this won’t be the last conversation that I have with him, and that I will have to make sure that he helps his brother with this conversation.
I’m thankful that I can stand behind the Seen Enough campaign, which now has a petition to let tobacco companies know that parents and others have had enough of these advertisements. That we want to have a healthier New York for our children and their future. Please join me and others as we sign this petition and let our voices be heard.
Our children are not going to be another consumer for the tobacco industry. Let’s stop this trend together!