Hudson Valley Parent

HVP November 2017

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30 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2017 By ELLEN REINHARD & DIANE MOORE A s parents, we want our children to grow up safe and healthy. We do our best to protect them from things that may cause them harm. However, many in the Hudson Valley and across New York State may not realize a potential threat to their children - tobacco marketing that occurs at the point of sale where our children shop. There are billions of dollars of tobacco promotions in places where children can see them, such as convenience stores, many of which are located near schools. Research shows stores popular among adolescents contain almost three times more tobacco marketing materials compared with other stores in the same community. Young people are almost twice as likely as adults to recall tobacco promotions, and the more ads they see, the more likely they are to start smoking at an early age, which can cause detrimental health issues that include impaired lung growth, respiratory symptoms and asthma-related symptoms. Do you know what your tween is up to? The current average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. The U.S. Surgeon General calls smoking a "pediatric epidemic" and says, "Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults." But it doesn't have to be that way. Youth in the Hudson Valley region have seen enough tobacco marketing, and it's time we take action to minimize the impact it can have on kids in our community. Through the statewide "Seen Enough Tobacco" campaign, community members can take a stand and help raise awareness to safeguard children from tobacco promotions in places where they can see them. The Seen Enough Tobacco campaign uses videos, social media, digital advertising and other support materials that describe children's encounters with tobacco promotions in stores. Provocative images creatively and absurdly combine cigarettes with common children's items, like crayons, a birthday cake, a crib mobile and an ice cream truck, in scenarios that are grabbing the attention of parents and community members across the state. Join the pledge If you want to get involved, encourage your family, friends and neighbors to join more than 20,000 others throughout the state who have pledged their support at You can also join the conversation on social media by using #SeenEnoughTobacco and visiting the Tobacco Free New York State Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Right here in the Hudson Valley, The current average age of a new smoker is 13. Could your kids be tempted to start? Would you let your child make a birthday wish on these candles?

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