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. Did you know that the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old?! That’s why we’ve partnered with Tobacco Free New York State to help protect our children from being exposed to tobacco products in stores and to create a smoke free New York State.
This year, my sister and I each had a child head off to the middle school. In our school district, this encompasses Grades 6-8th. This means that they are now in school with children ranging in ages from 11 – 13.
And as any parent of a middle schooler knows, sixth graders are still very young emotionally and rather naive, especially when compared to seventh and eighth graders. Needless to say, our dinnertime conversations had to shift a bit as we focused on some of the issues that they might face in the middle school…like smoking.
The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old!
Yes, you heard me right. By the time most kids leave middle school, they will have been exposed to a classmate smoking a cigarette. Or, even worse, they will have tried one on their own. I cannot imagine my son or niece standing in front of me with a cigarette hanging from their lips, but I have to.
So, in addition to our own conversations with them about the dangers of smoking, the kids also talk openly and honestly with their Grandma about it. You see, Grandma has been an “off and on again” smoker her entire life. But, she’s trying to quit for good and they know how hard it is for her to kick the habit.
The good thing is, Grandma doesn’t mince words when she talks to them about how hard it is to quit. Or, how detrimental smoking has been to her health. It’s very important for them to see one of their role models struggling. Hopefully, it will prevent them from giving in to peer pressure when the time comes – because it will.
They are also very involved in helping her quit. Whenever they go to her house, they make her colorful artwork to hang on the walls listing all of the reasons she should give up smoking for good. They also ask her very detailed questions about why she smokes and why it’s so hard to quit.
Obviously, a tobacco-free environment is very important to us and our children as it hits us very close to home. So, we’ve partnered with Tobacco Free New York State to help protect our children from being exposed to tobacco products in stores.
Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars each year to put their products in front of our kids in stores and the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. We feel that our children have seen enough. So, it’s time to take action and join us in signing the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge today to make New York a healthier place to live, work and play!
Here’s to a smoke-free NYS,
Denine & Daniele
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