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’ve never been a fan of smoking. Hardly anyone in my family does it, which probably explains why I’ve never done it. In fact, I remember being all of maybe five or six years old and finding out my Great Aunt Hensey was a smoker. Everyone encouraged her to stop and my mom even egged me on to hide her pack of cigarettes. After all, how could she get mad at her favorite nephew? Thankfully, she eventually did quit.
Smoking is definitely a dangerous past time and these days, the big tobacco companies have set their sites on the next generation of customers. In New York State, do you know what the average age of a new smoker is? Yep, it’s the ripe young age of just 13 years old.
My oldest son Jason is 14. My youngest son Ryan is 13. They are the perfect age for tobacco companies to go after. That most definitely scares this dad.
As someone who’s been involved in marketing for 20+ years, I know how influential targeted ads can be. These tobacco companies are now spending literally billions of dollars to get their products placed in stores where kids can see them. Us adults don’t think twice about it, but when little ones see colorful advertising promoting cigarettes, they can’t help but be intrigued, even in a very subtle way.
Kids absolutely learn by emulating the adults around them. Thankfully, my wife and I are anti-smokers, and my kids have followed suit. But there are so many young kids out there who see a different message.
That’s why it is time to take action!
More than ever before, kids across the country are starting to speak up about the things that matter most to them. About their future. About their lives.
So I encourage you all to take action and help protect your kids and all other kids in New York from being exposed to tobacco products in stores. Go ahead and sign the Seen Enough Tobacco pledge today and make this great state of ours a healthier place to live, work and play!