When she arrived at the Price Chopper supermarket on Balltown Road this morning, Linda Ryan of Schenectady did not to expect to see a woman in a tiara at the entrance.
Ryan had stopped to pick up some dog food and other groceries when she met Miss America, Kirsten Haglund, who was urging customers to quit smoking and promoting a quit-smoking product she endorses. Ryan was pleased by the surprise.
“That’s awesome,” she said.
Ryan quit smoking herself four years ago this November. She had been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease.
“I went cold turkey,” she said.
Haglund said this anti-smoking campaign fits in with her platform of mental health. She had suffered from anorexia when she was younger and she is seeking to change laws to require insurance companies to cover mental health procedures like treatment of eating disorders, the same way they would cover physical diseases.
She said that society should promote healthy images for women in the entertainment issue and not be overly thin.
“They are not glamorous; they are not pretty. It’s a struggle. You can die,” she said.