What’s the purpose of this campaign?
The purpose of this media campaign is to educate New Yorkers about the dangers of tobacco industry marketing in retail stores, and the effect that this marketing has on New York’s youth.
Why are you talking about tobacco marketing in stores, rather than other “more important” issues?
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the nation, and it costs New York taxpayers more than $10 billion annually in healthcare costs. Despite previous successes such as New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act, and the continued decline in youth smoking rates, it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent youth from picking up their first cigarette. Retail stores are the main channel of communication for the tobacco industry and 75% of teens shop in convenience stores at least once per week. The US Surgeon General concludes that “promotion and advertising by the tobacco industry causes tobacco use, including its initiation among youth.
Why should I care about tobacco marketing in stores?
Most adult smokers have become addicted before they graduate from high school: 90% of them start before the age of 18. According to the US Surgeon General, “tobacco marketing at the point of sale is associated with the use of tobacco by youth. Because point-of-sale marketing is an important channel for the tobacco companies, with very few restrictions, consumers, including children, are unavoidably exposed to pro smoking messages when they shop or when they are simply passing by stores.
Here in New York State, tobacco companies spend more than a half a million dollars every day to place promotions in stores where kids can see them. And the more they see, the more likely they are to start smoking. Our kids have seen enough. It’s time to take action and get tobacco out of sight in stores.
Thank you for taking action. For additional information on reducing store marketing and to find other Tobacco Free NYS resources, please click here.