Halloween is upon us and we will soon be noticing the scary sights and sounds that come with it, from children's trick-or-treat chants to scary costumes and movies.
Therefore, this a great time to remind people about the tricks being played on youth by the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry promises treats - rebellion, fitting in, being cool, being glamorous - but instead delivers nicotine addiction and ill health that haunt many for a lifetime.
The tobacco industry spends $1 million a day to market their deadly products in stores. At almost every convenience store in New York state, children are inundated with colorful tobacco product displays surrounding the cash registers and tempted by cigarettes in candy colored packages. The tobacco industry pays retailers to display tobacco products in these highly visible locations where youth are continually exposed. Licensed tobacco retailers in New York state display an average of 18 ads per store and more than 82 percent of retailers dedicate 50 percent or more of the merchandising space behind the counter to openly visible tobacco products.
Studies show that even brief exposure to tobacco advertising influences youth intentions to smoke. It gives the youth the impression that tobacco products are easily accessible.
Our youth face enough scary obstacles and tough decisions; do they really need to be constantly bombarded with advertising that could potentially be life threatening? Removing tobacco products from the view of our kids is an easy way to help save many youth from facing early death and disease from tobacco.
For more information or to sign a global petition, visit www.realitycheckofny.com.
Program coordinator for Reality Check