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.

As a child growing up, I wasn’t always health conscious but they say you get older you get wiser. I don’t let my kids take on bad eating habits I had as a kid. Even in the supermarkets they know how to look for organic foods. I strive to make sure my children live healthy lives. One thing marketers try to do is sell your children’s things through advertising. I educate my children on what ads mean and why that should not follow or purchase what the ad is saying.

Did you know that kids as young as 13 smoke cigarettes?

Growing up I had friends who smoked cigarettes one particular friend she was 14 years old. You could tell that the Nicotine was starting to deteriorate her body she started to look years older by the time she was 16 she looked in her twenties.

There were people in my life who died from smoking cigarettes one was my cousin and other was my grandfather. My grandfather took the place of my absentee father he taught me how to cook, save money, play poker and take me on fishing trips and it broke my heart when he developed throat cancer.

It’s important to reduce smoking among youth because you will grow up to be unhealthy adults. By removing tobacco ads it will provide less exposure to cigarettes. I am excited to have partnered with “Seen Enough Tobacco” campaign to protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products. As a parent you don’t want your child exposed to everything and you should have that right.

Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars to put their products in front of our kids making them more susceptible to using tobacco.

Take Action

Tobacco Free NYC gives us some useful tip to talk to your youth about tobacco:

1. Direct conversation. It is important to have a dialogue about tobacco usage with your children at age 5 or 6 and continue the conversation into their teens. Use time in the car, at the dinner table or even draw attention to no-smoking signs in public spaces to reinforce disapproval. Emphasize consequences. Tell kids how smoking can cause fatal diseases (cancer, heart disease, lung disease, emphysema and more) and have immediate effects like bad-smelling hair/clothing proneness to acne. You can also point out that smoking can negatively impact sports performance and athletic performance.

2. Be the example. Set a smoke-free policy at home and for friends/family around your children. If you are currently a smoker, try to never light up near your children, and explain to them that it was a mistake to start and how difficult it is to quit.

3. Discuss responses to friends. As kids grow up, the pressure from friends at school may increase. Equip then with appropriate responses, should they find themselves in a situation where they are offered tobacco.

For example:

  1. “I don’t want my clothes to stink like smoke.”
  2. “I’m trying to stay in shape for soccer.”
  3. “I heard those make you sick.”

4. Explain different forms of tobacco and smoking. Be sure to discuss that they many different types of “smoke-free” alternatives are all still dangerous. Did you know that from 2014-2018 e-cigarette use grew 160% among high school students. Electronic cigarettes (vaping, electric hookahs) still use nicotine and other chemicals that are harmful to health, and smokeless tobacco (“chew”) contains nearly 30 cancer-causing chemicals and is highly addictive.

Let’s take a stand by signing the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge TODAY to make New York and healthier place to live, work and play.

Sign the Pledge HERE

For more information:

Tobacco Free New York State: