In all of our pasts, there is probably a select thing or three that we wouldn’t want to admit to our children. Something that I tend to forget is that I use to be a smoker. Naturally, smoking was a habit that I am not proud of, and if I could ever erase, I would. I started smoking back in high school, probably as a result of peer pressure, or because I thought it was cool. My dirty habit continued into my mid twenties, just before Jason and I were starting to talk about having a baby. When I look back, it was purely social, I never smoked inside my apartment, and I never left the office jonesing for a smoke. Finally, one day in October of 2007, I quit. I was planning on becoming a mother soon, and move onto a new chapter of my life, and I knew that I didn’t want my kids to grow up knowing me as a smoker.
Now, years later, I have actually become so repulsed by the smell of cigarette smoke, and I will sometimes cross the street if I am standing behind a smoker, especially with my children in tow. And don’t even get me started about parents who smoke while pushing their little ones in a stroller. If you continue smoking after having kids, that is your choice, but to put second hand smoke into your childrens lungs, is simply irresponsible. If I knew then what I knew now, I have never picked up a cigarette in my teenage years.
Recently, I teamed up with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in an effort to spread the word about tobacco free retailers. Such retailers include CVS, Target, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods, which is refreshing, because these are vendors that we frequent daily. It’s not a secret that smoking causes lung cancer, and other diseases. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the US, taking an enormous toll in lives, health, and medical costs; and the sad part is a vast majority of smokers start as kids. Just think of how easy it is to buy cigarette from various vendors in your everyday life. Retailers can help save lives and create a tobacco-free generation by choosing not to sell tobacco products. This is a far cry from my childhood, where I was 100% exposed to tobacco shops, and both my grandmas, along with my dad, who smoked and still does.
As parents, we make decisions that will effect our kids years to come, and I can only hope that my little ones will never pick up this disgusting habit when they grow older. I encourage you to check out the ShopTobaccoFree.org website, to see if you are supporting a responsible retailer and if you are not, encourage you to make the switch.Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for sponsoring this post about such an important issue.