Need ideas for your latest blog? Just check the monthly observances to find some great ideas for tobacco-themed interest stories.
For example, did you know April is Car Care Month? Winter is releasing its final claws on most of the U.S. and it’s time to open those car windows and freshen up the inside. If you are a smoker and trying to quit, now is a great time to vacuum out the dirt and shampoo the carpeting and upholstery to rid the car of that stale smoke smell. Ditch any lighters or extra packs of cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco and replace them with gums, mints, and breath spray. If you aren’t a smoker, here’s some information you need to know: smoking in your car decreases its value, even if a passenger smokes. If you hang that cigarette out the window, the fumes still come inside. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer. And those chemicals and that smell lingers long after you quit smoking and could cause stains in the carpet and ceiling of the car.
Speaking of cars, April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Although the focus of distracted driving is the use of your cell phone or hands-free device while driving, lighting up a cigarette or picking up a lighted cigarette off the car seat or floor can also be just as distracting, especially for teen drivers. And how about that can of smokeless tobacco that ends up rolling around on the floor? Or the little pieces of tobacco all over your seat? Or that wad of spit that doesn’t make it out the window. Talk about a distraction!
Need to take a look at your finances? April is also Financial Literacy Month. And what does tobacco have to do with finances? Most tobacco users know what it costs them for their tobacco, be it cigarettes, cigars, smokeless or electronic cigarettes, but they fail to take into account tobacco’s true cost. Many businesses no longer hire tobacco users because of higher health insurance costs. And if they do hire you, expect to pay more out of your pocket for those higher costs. In fact “a 30-year old smoker can expect to pay between 16 and 41% higher insurance premiums than non-smokers do.” Even if you use electronic cigarettes, a urine sample will show nicotine (or cotinine), and you will be saddled with higher premiums. If you are a smoker and smoke in your car, you will get less for your trade in. Cigarette smoke is nearly impossible to remove from car interiors. A smoker will also pay more for home insurance, and will get less money when it comes time to sell, even if you smoke outside. The smoke that lingers on you comes into the house with you. Then there are all those medical costs and dental bills. What exactly is that $6 pack of cigarettes really costing you?
During April and National Pet Month it’s time to think about what your smoking is doing to your pet. If smoking is harming your body, imagine what it is doing to a pet that can’t escape your smoking. The smoke that clings to your skin and clothes also clings to your pet’s fur and they ingest those chemicals as they groom themselves. Dogs can develop lung and nasal cancer and cats can develop malignant lymphoma. Even if you smoke outside, those toxins follow you in and increase their discomfort.
And before you pick up another cigarette because you think it relieves your stress, there is something you should know…it’s Stress Awareness Month. Did you know “stress levels of adult smokers are slightly higher than those of non-smokers,” because “nicotine dependency seems to exacerbate stress.” If you are a smoker, or use tobacco and are dependent on nicotine, the best way to de-stress is to quit smoking.
Now, you may want to tell us to go fly a kite, and we’re okay with that because it’s National Kite Month. What a wonderful way to get outside, de-stress and breathe in some fresh, smoke-free air and have some fun with family and friends while you fly your kite and think of all the money you will save when you give up tobacco.