Thursday, November 20, 2014

You Can Shop Tobacco-Free

* This is a sponsored post by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, however all opinions stated are that of my own.

I remember laying in bed at night as a little girl crying. Crying and praying. I prayed for many things when I was younger, but one of the biggest of all was for my mom to stop smoking. It sounds like a strange thing for a child to pray about, cry about, or be so deeply affected by, but when you begin to understand the consequences that smoking has on an individual and those around them, it then takes over your everyday thoughts, digs deep into your soul with each lit cigarette, and becomes the reason you toss and turn at night.

It took years. And many failed attempts at quitting.  But she did it. SHE DID IT. And I remember finding myself yet again in my bedroom pondering over this exact same topic, yet this time with a smile on my face. The biggest, happiest, most elated smile I remember having. It's over. The war on cigarettes was over.  Here I am jumping up and down on my bed because gosh darn it, it's over.

Although it wasn't my war to fight, I felt like a winner.

Here we are, 15 years later, and I still feel like a winner. Back then, I didn't know that I would become a nurse. Back then, I didn't realize the depth of the impact that smoking had on each and every organ in our bodies. Back then, I didn't have statistics and probabilities. Back then, I just had a mom that I didn't want taken away from me because of this disease. And today, today, I am even more thankful. I won that battle, but I can't help but think we have even a bigger battle ahead of us.

Being a mother now, I feel this need to want to protect all children out there. Protect them from second hand smoking, and protect them from picking up this habit themselves.

I challenge you, to ask a very important question: "What are the facts on smoking?"

Aside from what we have always learned about it having a higher risk for developing certain illnesses and diseases such as obesity, heart failure, diabetes, cancer, stroke, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to list a few, do we know the actual numbers behind a cigarette and what smoking truly means?

According to Shop Tobacco Free, a project of the campaign for tobacco-free kids, there are important facts that you and I need to know:


Now that we know the facts, what do we do next?

Easy— Shop Tobacco Free has launched user-friendly resources that allow you to simply type in your zip code and results will show you a map of your city and the closest retailers that have pledged to be Tobacco free. A list will also pop down below the map with every location listed.

If you are not already aware of the retailers that are currently part of this program, then I strongly urge you to check it out. I urge consumers to also thank those retailers, and to consider letting retailers that are not a part of the program the important facts of why they should pledge to be Tobacco Free.

It's as easy as 1-2-3. Here is a step-by-step tutorial of where to go. This is a direct link to search by zip code the retailers near you.

Support and Encourage!

Now that we have learned how to find out what retailers are part of the program and which are not, it is important for us to continue to drive our support as well as encourage more to join in to be a Tobacco Free Retailer. 

1. Encourage. This is where word of mouth and social media comes in handy. Check out the wall of shame of retailers here, tag these retailers, and share this link {   } for them to go to apply to be a Tobacco Free Retailer. Be sure to use the hashtag #ShopTobaccoFree on all outlets.

2. Support.  Support those that have already taken the initiative. Shop there first. Invest money in companies that care about you, and share with your family friends through social media outlets. Remember to use hashtag #ShopTobaccoFree.

You can further show your support and follow Shop Tobacco Free on these social media outlets:

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