Thursday, May 21, 2015
Many of us have heard the axiom, ďan Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of CureĒ. We can thank one of our countryís Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, for this proverb. Franklin was a man who wore many hats. Proudly, Franklin became a vital participant in the creation of our United States Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. He was a leading author, politician, theorist, activist, scientist, among other distinguished titles. Many of us attribute Franklin to his most famous discovery and theory, electricity. Of course, electricity is an essential amenity many of us could not live without today.
Franklin wholeheartedly believed that it is easier to prevent something bad from happening than to try to fix it after it happens. In his campaign to create a firefighting organization in Philadelphia back in 1736, he argued that it was more cost effective to prevent a major fire from destroying an entire city than it was to rebuild a new one. This claim can apply to any humanitarian effort and appears to be self-evidently true.
The term Prevention may sound a bit intimidating to some of us. There may even be some confusion or apprehension in scrambling to explain what Prevention is and how it works. What exactly is Prevention? Prevention is the act of putting safeguards into place to eliminate the possibility of a catastrophic occurrence. Prevention involves activists and activities that lead to affirmative action with the goal of protecting all members within our community. Prevention services are offered through Humanitarian Agencies such as The Vermont Department of Health, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospitalís Alcohol, Tobacco, & other Drug Prevention Coalition and 802Quits, Vermontís statewide tobacco cessation program, which provides Vermonters with FREE counseling & FREE nicotine replacement aids to help adults quit tobacco use.
The Vermont Department of Health launched the Counter Balance initiative in 2014. We are diligently working to promote awareness within the community about the devastating effects of harmful tobacco & alcohol advertising campaigns in our local convenience stores. Big tobacco & alcohol companies have an agenda. These companies strategically target two groups of Vermonters; our youth and adolescents, with an assuredness in enticing our youth to experiment with alcohol & tobacco products thereby snaring them into becoming long-term users and keeping those Vermonters who are already long-term users, life-time users.
Many of our neighborhood stores are conveniently situated near schools and playgrounds where many underage Vermont kids frequent to purchase their snacks and drinks. Vermont kids visit these stores and are exposed to influential tobacco & alcohol marketing on a daily basis as they reach the check-out counter. The bottom line is that the more often our youth are exposed to these ads, the more likely Vermontís youth are to start smoking and/or drinking. Itís time to end tobacco & alcoholís influence on Vermontís kids.
Wonít you join us in the campaign to eradicate the use of tobacco & alcohol marketing in our neighborhood convenient stores and Prevent Vermontís kids from becoming the next generation of tobacco and alcohol users by visiting us at counterbalencevt.com. Together we can make a difference.