Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the nation, and it costs New York taxpayers more than $8 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 cigarettes.
The more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke. Tobacco companies place most of their advertising where young people shop - in convenience stores, where 75 percent of teens shop at least once per week.
Studies have shown that teens who visit convenience stores more than twice per week are 64 percent more likely to begin smoking within the next 12 months than their peers who visit convenience stores less than once per week.
Most adult smokers become addicted before they graduate from high school: 90 percent of them start before the age of 18.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, if no one smoked one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.
Think of the potential lives that could be saved, if tobacco displays were simply moved out of sight.
The Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York State is undertaking the media campaign, "We've Seen Enough Tobacco Marketing", 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.
For more information, please call Project Action, Fulton, Montgomery, and Hamilton County's Tobacco-Free Coalition, Sue Arminio at 841-7288.
ASAPP's Promise, project co-coordinator