Jon Pardi has seen more and more young fans at his shows lately, and he has something to say to them. “I always thought that if I could put a message out for kids who look up to me, I’d say, ’Don’t smoke.’ I mean, who knows? This could change their life,” Pardi told me when I asked him about his new role as a spokesperson the TheTruth.com.
He says that even though he’s been around second-hand smoke ever since he started playing in smoky bars, he never actually lit up. But he has seen what a lifetime of cigarettes can do.
“My grandma — the one who got me into music — passed away from lung cancer when she was only 63,” he said. “My mom’s family smoked. And my dad’s family smoked, and his dad died from it,” he said. “Cigarettes are just everywhere. So I grew up around smokers, but I just never started.”
And that’s exactly what Pardi hopes his partnership with TheTruth.com will accomplish. That it will spread the message and stop the cycle. “Everybody knows cigarettes are bad for you, but I just want people to be more aware. If you can stay away from cigarettes, you should,” he said. More than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette every day in America.
Even though nearly 38 million Americans still smoke tobacco, what’s even worse is that 72 percent of those smokers are from lower-income communities. And according to TheTruth.com, tobacco companies double the nicotine in their cigarettes to make them that much more addictive. The mission of the smoking-prevention program is to stop smokers before they ever start.