Tobacco Marketing Works…
Just ask your kids!
We Need to Protect Our Kids from Harmful Tobacco Marketing in Stores
The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on tobacco marketing in stores, and we know from the research and the US Surgeon General that tobacco marketing in stores is a CAUSE of youth smoking. Even brief exposure to tobacco advertising and product displays influences kids’ intentions to smoke. Every day, about 4,000 kids in the United States try their first cigarette and an additional 1,000 kids under 18 years of age become new regular, daily smokers. It is not by coincidence that 85% of these kids prefer three of the most heavily advertised brands (Marlboro, Camel, and Newport). Seventy-five percent of teens shop in convenience stores at least once a week, the same place where tobacco companies strategically place the majority of their marketing money.
Retail store point-of-sale tobacco displays are the main avenue the tobacco industry uses to market its products. The strategic placement of tobacco product displays is their most effective marketing tool. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars every year to market its deadly products in the places where kids are likely to shop. Tobacco marketing, such as colorful, well-lit displays at store registers, has been shown to influence kids to start smoking. These product displays, appropriately called “powerwalls”, are placed in prime retail space, behind the cash register, so they receive maximum visibility. They know this is an effective way to reach the youth they need as new smokers to replace current smokers who either quit or die from their addiction. In fact, almost 90% of all regular smokers begin smoking before age 18. If kids stopped smoking, the tobacco industry smoking customers would shrink to almost nothing.
Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Every year, 25,000 New York State residents die from tobacco related illness. If we are serious about reducing youth tobacco use, we must address tobacco product displays because everyday, our children are exposed to a tremendous amount of tobacco marketing in our grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies. To protect our children, our community and state must reduce youth exposure to the tobacco marketing in stores.
The research is clear…the more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke.
TOBACCO FREE OUTDOORS
Parks, playgrounds, beaches and other recreational areas should be places that people can go to enjoy the outdoors, breathe fresh air and exercise. They should not have to be exposed to secondhand smoke. Another public health concern is tobacco litter which is hazardous to children and wildlife.
Community Partnerships like SmokeFree Dutchess are working across NYS to establish more tobacco free outdoor areas around clubs, businesses, college campuses and other grounds. Please contact SmokeFree Dutchess for sample policies, signage and/or assistance in creating outdoor tobacco use policies.