Research shows tobacco advertising and related promotional activities
have a significant and positive effect on teenage smoking initiation. In
other words, the type of advertising you see in the image above causes
kids to start smoking. The tobacco industry is well aware of this -- are you?
Everyday, approximately 3,000 kids take up smoking. For boys, research
shows us that the average age in now around 14. For girls, the statistic
is more alarming. Girls are taking up this addictive and deadly habit around
the age of 11. Yes, women have come a long way -- at least from the tobacco
How Many Tobacco Brands Do You See? This is a pathetic example
of how the tobacco industry has encroached into our neighborhoods. Kids
regularly stop at such store to buy snacks, gas or get something to drink.
This messaging implies that tobacco is a sanctioned and accepted part of
our lives. This is incorrect. Tobacco-related disease kills an estimated
500,000 Americans each year. Yet this business is promoting the use of
tobacco. They are a significant part of the problem.
Tobacco Is Entrenched In Our Society: The facts and figures are
clear. Tobacco is big money. The industry has purchased their way into
our lives. They contribute heavily to political campaigns. They are active
lobbyists both in Washington, D.C. and in Santa Fe. They threaten litigation
against cities and states whenever enlightened leaders attempt to restrict
their activities. In essence, they have purchased their way into our lives.
The Marriage Of Tobacco And The Convenience Store: Businesses
like the Circle K featured in the image above make thousands of
dollars each year from the sale and promotion of tobacco. Research shows
that approximately 30% of store revenues come from tobacco. Sure, they
makes thousands of dollars each year selling these products, but you are
paying higher health care costs and higher taxes due to tobacco illnesses.
Sadly, your friends and possibly your family members are slowly dying from
their addiction. We lose one American every minute from tobacco-related
illnesses. These stores profit from society's misery.
What Can You Do? Many of our elected officials and leaders have
been "bought" by tobacco. It is difficult for citizens to fight
unethical behavior. Officials may "have the right" to take contributions
from an industry that kills so many people, but taking money from these
people "isn't right" -- simple as that! We have to stand together.
Vote with your dollars. Do not patronize such stores. Do not allow your
kids to patronize these businesses. Cripple them financially before they
cripple the health of our children. Send the message loud and clear. We
will not allow money to decide right and wrong for our kids -- or for our
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