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.
I remember growing up in NYC, smoking was super normal, “cool” even. There were very few restrictions on smoking in public places, and although no one in my household smoked cigarettes I had been pretty accustomed to the smell since I lived in a super urban area and it was everywhere. I even remember having these sugar sticks that were made like cigarettes, so when you blow them a poof of sugar would puff out.
How did they even make this for children?! But I digress.
Despite the “coolness” of smoking cigarettes back in the day, things have changed dramatically. Over the past 20 years there has been a huge pushback on tobacco. I remember watching MTV and seeing these commercials and campaigns on why it was a terrible idea to take up smoking–they were actually downright disturbing with real life people who have been suffering from lung cancer, to decaying teeth, to just people who look and sound really really bad. It is a fantastic campaign because we never saw any of those side effects growing up–we just saw people doing it for “fun”.
Considering that the average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, this targeted programming is needed and appropriate. I’ve seen my own children scream “EWWWWW” when a particularly graphic commercial comes on, in this case, I honestly don’t mind because if it scares them away from tobacco then it’s a total win for me!
The thing is, tobacco companies are spending billions to put their products in front of kids in stores like bodegas and the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking, we need to stop this in it’s tracks! It’s really annoying and our kids have seen enough. It’s time to take action and protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores – sign the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge today to make New York a healthier place to live, work and play! It takes a few seconds and it send a huge message!
You can make a difference and sign the petition here and let’s stop the blatant images of tobacco in stores and what our kids see.