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April 02, 2009 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-04-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Business &
Professional

Jim Hiller:

Health Hero

I

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n January, Jim Hiller pulled
all cigarettes from his seven

grocery stores and announced
he no longer would enable this dan-
gerous habit. In March, Gov. Jennifer
Granholm and Janet Olszewski,
director of the state of Michigan's
Department of Community Health,
named him a 2009 Hometown
Health Hero for his decisive actions.
"This was not a business deci-
sion," said Jim Hiller, CEO of
Oakland County-based Hiller's
Markets. "My personal beliefs are
intertwined in my business ethos
and to continue to sell cigarettes
runs contrary to my personal com-
mitment to this community and its
future.
"There are all kinds of vices and
unhealthy products for sale — but
cigarettes aren't only dangerous to
those who smoke them. The effects
of cigarette smoke can kill people
who live and work with smokers;'
he added. "Despite the right of those
who choose to smoke, I will not
make Hiller's a fellow traveler!'
Hiller voluntarily let go of
$250,000 in annual cigarette sales
and took a loss by tossing the
remaining inventory.
Michigan Public Health Hero
award winners are celebrated during
Michigan Public Health Week April
20-26.
Research indicates that second-
hand smoke is especially harmful
to young children — exposure to
secondhand smoke has been linked
to respiratory infections, hospital-
ization and SIDS deaths in babies.
In the United States, 21 million chil-
dren live with smokers.
Studies show as many as 75
percent of American children have
detectable levels of cotinine, the
breakdown product of nicotine in
the bloodstream. ._2

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