Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, the world came to its senses and realized that smoking cigarettes was not cool.

Many, many efforts were made to get people to stop smoking (most of which didn’t work all that well) when someone got the bright idea to teach little kids that Smoking Was Bad. This had the dual impact of getting fewer kids to start smoking and turning a gaggle of elementary school children into warriors against cigarettes.

No Smoking DearKidLoveMom.comSome of the warriors (not naming names but me) piled up literature by the ton and hauled it dutifully to any adult (and by “adult” I mean my grandma) who would listen to the horrors and devastation caused by smoking as explained by a kindergartner.

Eventually (and by “eventually” I mean 1977), the American Cancer Society created the Great American Smokeout, a day dedicated to encouraging people to stop smoking. While their enthusiasm had nothing on me, age 5, they were able to reach far more people. Since not everyone got the message at first, they repeated the event a year later. And a year after that. And here we are 40 years later and we’re still encouraging people to STOP SMOKING!!! Because 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes.

That is a lot of people and a lot cigarettes. Which means Big Tobacco makes money and oncologists get to tell people their lungs look like tar pits.

NOTE: There is no safe way to deal with tobacco. Hookah, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco—you name it, they’re all carcinogenic.

If you know someone who smokes (and since there are 36.5 million people in the US who smoke, chances are you know at least one), remind them you care about their health and today is a great day to try cutting back on cigarettes.

Because friends help friends quit.

Love, Mom