This post has been sponsored by CTFK, however all opinions are 100% my own.
When I was 15 I started smoking. Back in the 80′s, you were just not cool if you didn’t smoke. Little did I know when I lit up that first cigarette that I would have an 11 year battle with nicotine hanging over my head. For those 11 years, I smoked a lot — but somewhere around the age of 25 or 26, when I started going to church — I decided that I didn’t want to smoke anymore.
On the day of my last cigarette, I put them down — but the fight afterward was the worst I had ever had in my life. Nicotine — a horrible drug, was coursing through my veins and did not want to let go for any reason. But I fought — and fought hard and eventually I won over all the urges and withdrawals I was having.
I am here to tell you that smoking is NOT all that it is cracked up to be.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 480,000 people and costing the nation at least $289 billion in health care bills and other economic losses each year.
The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, and a new Surgeon General’s report found that smoking is even more hazardous than previously thought. The report found that without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused deaths. That includes 119,000 children in Kentucky alone.
In particular, tobacco companies target youth with magazine ads, store ads and discounts, and fruit- and candy-flavored small cigars that look just like cigarettes. In Kentucky, 24.1 percent of high school students smoke and 5,400 kids become new daily smokers each year. Nationally, 18.1 percent of high school students still smoke.
I am really proud of CVS for taking a stand to stop selling tobacco products in their store. So much of my life and the lives of my family have been effected by this horrendous drug. In fact, my own mother died from COPD that she got from smoking for so many years. It started out as emphysema, but because she would not stop smoking when the doctor asked her to, it turned into a disease that eventually took her life.
Because of the boldness of CVS, I am standing with them — and you can too — if you feel passionate about it.
If you are one who is standing with CVS, visit their store and print out this cool poster. Snap a photo of yourself holding the poster saying this –
Then tweet it to them, Instagram it to them, or post it on their Facebook page — they would love to know that you are behind them!
For a full list of Kick Butts Day events in Kentucky, visit http://www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.