Michigan Market – Takes Leadership In Raising Bar On Public Health
In a state that is behind the curve on smoking and other public health issues Jim Hiller, CEO of the Michigan, family-owned company Hillers says

“I recognize that if you don’t start somewhere, you can’t impact the greater good at all! Yes, there are all kinds of vices and unhealthy products for sale – but cigarettes aren’t only dangerous to those who smoke them. The effects spread far beyond those who choose to smoke – the effects of cigarette smoke can kill people who live and work with smokers,” says Hiller. “Despite the right of those who choose to smoke, I will not make Hiller’s a fellow traveler.”

GO JIM HILLER!

Posted By Bill Couzens Founder Less Cancer

No More Cigarettes for Sale at Hiller’s Markets

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Every January, many Americans resolve to change bad habits and live more healthfully. This month, Hiller’s Markets has made a resolution of its own – to cease selling cigarettes at all of its seven stores.

no_smoking.jpg“I’ve agonized over this decision,” says Jim Hiller, CEO of the local, family-owned company. “My personal beliefs are intertwined in my business ethos and to continue to sell cigarettes runs contrary to my personal commitment to this community and its future.”

“I recognize that if you don’t start somewhere, you can’t impact the greater good at all! Yes, there are all kinds of vices and unhealthy products for sale – but cigarettes aren’t only dangerous to those who smoke them. The effects spread far beyond those who choose to smoke – the effects of cigarette smoke can kill people who live and work with smokers,” says Hiller. “Despite the right of those who choose to smoke, I will not make Hiller’s a fellow traveler.”

Nineteen states have banned smoking in public places and worksites. Michigan is not among them.

Research indicates that secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children – exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to respiratory infections, hospitalization and SIDS deaths in babies. In the United States, 21 million children live with smokers. Studies show that as many as 75 percent of American children have detectable levels of cotinine, the breakdown product of nicotine in the bloodstream.

“The American Lung Association of Michigan applauds Jim Hiller in his decision to no longer offer tobacco products in all Hiller’s store locations,” says the Association’s Laura Bertalan. “Tobacco-related illness remains the number-one preventable cause of death in the U.S. and is responsible for an estimated 14,522 deaths in Michigan each year. Hiller’s continues to demonstrate their concern for consumer health and has set an exceptional example that we hope other businesses will follow.”

The American Cancer Society is also on board.

“The American Cancer Society congratulates Hiller Markets for the company’s decision to support a smoke-free environment,” said Jennifer Nagy, Director for the American Cancer Society Great Lakes Division. “Their decision to cease the sale of all tobacco products at all seven stores strongly demonstrates the company’s commitment to protecting the health of their workers and shoppers.”

Founded in 1941 with a commitment to quality, service and selection, Hiller’s Markets has long been a company with a conscience. It’s a national leader in gluten-free grocery products as well as the only regional grocery to strictly buy fish, meat and produce whose origins can be traced to humane, high-quality origins.

In addition to an extensive selection of gourmet and private-label products, Hiller’s stocks an array of foods for customers with specific needs – including nut, dairy and wheat allergies, kosher and ethnic diets. Its British and Japanese departments are unparalleled. Part of the Hiller’s mandate is to be a lifestyle and wellness partner to customers, suppliers, employees, the environment and surrounding communities.

“I may be just one man in Michigan,” says Jim Hiller. “But I believe that one person can make a difference if he’s bold enough to speak out. We are all put on this earth to make a difference – and I’ll continue to do so as long as I have the chance.”

Hiller’s operates seven groceries, including a new 52,000 square-foot store in Union Lake; others are located in Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Northville, Plymouth, Berkley and Commerce Township. Many company employees have been at Hiller’s for decades – symbolizing the quality behind the brand. Hiller has always been guided by the societal impact of store activities and corporate decisions.