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.
I’m about to get a little judgemental in this post, so if you are a smoker and you’re easily offended, maybe you should look away. Or, maybe this is the reality check you need. I still don’t understand with so much knowledge and awareness about the dangers of cigarette smoking, people are still lighting up. Do people really think nothing will happen to them? Do people think that all the information out there regarding links to cancer and smoking are just propaganda? I don’t get it! Even something as simple as smelling flowers can be altered by smoking cigarettes.
I watched my grandfather die from complications due to cigarette smoking. When I was a teen, my mom was going through old documents and I read through my grandfather’s surgery notes. They removed his tongue. HIS TONGUE. Why? Because the cancer from smoking spread throughout his throat and mouth. They removed his voicebox and yes, all those commercials on TV where you see someone speaking with an external voicebox are real. I lived it. He couldn’t swallow, so he had a feeding tube. My grandmother would let me shake up his “milkshake” and help her prepared his feeds when he lived with us. This was real life, and at 4 years old I was very aware of the nature of my grandfather’s illness.
As I grew up and watched my friends light up for their first time, I knew smoking was not for me. I saw firsthand the effects of smoking and didn’t want to live through that experience again. Did you know the average age of a new smoker in NY State is just 13 years old? When it comes to cigarette companies and their marketing tactics, billions are spent to draw in new smokers. It’s time to take action and protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores. Sign the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge today to make New York a healthier place for our kids.