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Imagine your child 10 years from now. Do you see them smoking? What if I told you the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old. Crazy, right?
What if there was something you could do today to stop your kids from smoking or seeing the damaging messages kids are seeing today?
It’s time to make that change and learn about the Seen Enough Tobacco campaign and sign the petition here.
The Seen Enough Tobacco Campaign
The Seen Enough Tobacco Campaign focuses on taking cigarette marketing out of sight from children. Most marketing is right at the checkout counter where it is visible to children and teens every time they go shopping.
The candy is on the lower level and cigarettes are right there with their marketing above it.
This includes convenience stores that are located right near schools where 75% of high schoolers shop on a weekly basis. It’s not a coincidence.
How Tobacco, Nicotine, and Cigarettes are Growing Again
While the United States has done a great job explaining the risks about cigarettes and New York itself is set to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21, there is still more to be done.
I mean think about it. If the average age of a new smoker is 13, will just raising a limit matter?
Every year, 22,500 new kids start smoking in just New York State alone. That adds up to 31.6 million packs of cigarettes being smoked by young kids every year!
Multiply that by 50 and just imagine the amount of money tobacco companies are making off our kids.
With the emergence of e-cigarettes, usage has grown among high school students grew 160% from 2014-2018.
That means there’s a big chance at least one of your children may try e-cigarettes without knowing the dangers of nicotine and how they can become addicted.
Children are seeing “vaping” as the healthier cigarette, but it’s still that – a cigarette.
How Cigarettes Shape Our Childhood
I remember when I was 13, I was in 7th grade and only knew of smoking through my grandparents. It was something that made their house smell and my mom had to wash our clothes as soon as we got home.
One day, my sister, cousins, and I decided to play a joke on them. We took an entire case of their cigarettes (yes, a big case) and stuck it in the trunk of the car.
My parents drove us home before my grandparents noticed and were livid when they found out. Honestly, that was the maddest I had and have ever seen them to this day. It’s scary how addicted someone can be to cigarettes and what it can do.
I personally still attribute smoking to that first memory and have never smoked a cigarette.
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How You Can Teach Your Kids and Toddlers Now
It’s never too young to explain the risks of smoking to kids.
My oldest daughter is only 3, so we haven’t directly told her about the harmfulness of cigarettes. She’s just too young to understand it.
Here is what we are doing now to prepare her for those dangers to help her listen to us when we do have that talk in a few years.
- Have open conversations
- Create a no-judgment zone
- Have an open mind
- Be okay with their mistakes
Just let your kids talk to you! Give them the floor to say whatever is on their mind without worrying about how you will react.
As they start to make mistakes, from as little as putting toys down the toilet to drinking with a friend when they weren’t supposed to, acknowledge they did the right thing in telling you.
Don’t reprimand them for exploring and trying new things. Respect them for telling you their wrongs and trying to make it right.
Join the Seen Enough Tobacco Campaign and sign the petition now. Let’s make this a Tobacco Free New York State!