Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids— and I have been a part of many wonderful campaigns. But this one? This one was close to my heart, not only because of the cause and message that it stands for, but because of those closest to me that have quit smoking. Because of the detrimental health effects on individuals that I have seen in front of my eyes working as a critical care nurse. And most importantly, because I have young children that I want to grow up knowing the damages affiliated with tobacco, not only to their health, but socially, financially, and emotionally.
I thought that I knew everything there was to know about tobacco prior to accepting my part in this campaign, but it is extraordinary how much we truly don't know as consumers. As a mother, it aggravates me that the tobacco industry is actually spending a lot of their marketing money to aim at a specific audience: our children. In fact, $8.8 billion dollars a year, or $1 million an hour. They call them the "replacements." Replacement for what, you may ask? Those half a million individuals that die from tobacco related causes. Watch this quick 2 minute video. It puts it all into perspective.
So what do we do? What do we, as mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, do to help protect those that are consumed by this industry and those that are at risk for falling into the tobacco trap?
We urge our local stores to stop selling the products! Do you know which stores sell tobacco products and which don't? Wouldn't you rather support a business that chooses your health and life over financial benefits? I am proud that CVS made the plunge, and that many of the stores that we shop at such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Trader Joe's have chosen not to sell tobacco products to their customers. Why can't all stores do this. I have been disappointed to see that Walgreens, Walmart, and Kroger continue to be on the wall-of-shame list and have not yet jumped on board. The great thing is that we can send them messages to continue to urge them to step across the line. Visit the wall of shame here and let them know how you feel!
Find #ShopTobaccoFree Retailers Near you
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.This is a direct link to search by zip code the retailers near you.
Did you know, since the start of this campaign, there have been 754 new stores across the country that have signed to be a part of the Tobacco-Free retailer program. That's amazing! And goes to show you the immense effect that we have as consumers.
You can further show your support and follow Shop Tobacco Free on these social media outlets: Remember to use the hashtag and share your stories!