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I was embarrassed to admit that I was once a former smoker, now I am sharing my story in order to support Tobacco Free New York State and help others on their journey
Confessions of A Former Smoker
I was too embarrassed to even tell anyone that I was once a former smoker, until last year.
Last year I got brave and shared my journey with disordered eating, and finally came clean about my five year smoking history. It started as a way to ‘be cool’, evolved as a way to ‘suppress my appetite’, and stuck with me for five years because it was highly addictive.
The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old. I picked up my first cigarette at 16 years old, and before I knew it, I was smoking half-a-pack a day for nearly five years.
It wasn’t until I learned that I was pregnant with my sweet baby boy, Ransom, that I was finally able to quit for good.
I’ve Seen Enough Tobacco
I grew up in a family of smokers, from grandparents to parents, and everything in between. When I started working in the restaurant industry at 15, I was immersed in a culture where smoking was not only considered OK, but even encouraged on some levels.
It was only a matter of time until I picked on up for myself.
I always said to myself, “I can stop if I want to”. The problem with tobacco? You. Never. Want. To.
From a very young age, I knew what cigarettes were. From commercials to TV and movies, cigarettes were everywhere.
The reality is, tobacco companies are spending billions of dollars to put their products in front of our kids in stores. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking.
I Want Better for My Child
All parents want the same thing for their children, and that is a life that was better than what they had. The ability to learn from their mistakes, so they don’t make the same one they did.
For me, nothing is more important than making sure my child knows the true dangers of picking up just one cigarette.
Unfortunately, that is easier said than done when marketing efforts are constantly sending conflicting messages to our children in stores, on TV, radio, and social media.
I have had enough. Our kids have seen enough.
It’s time to take action and protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores – I encourage you to sign the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge today to make our beautiful state of New York a healthier place to live, work and play!
If you or someone you love is ready to quit smoking, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to discover the many resources that are out there to help you, right now, today.