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Teach children about tobacco marketing

January 5, 2013
The Leader Herald

In today's society, there are many preventable illnesses occurring due to poor decision making. It is our responsibility as families and communities as a whole to teach our children how to live a healthy lifestyle and to make good choices.

One way to help children lead healthier lives is to educate them about how tobacco is marketed to them. In many markets - convenience and grocery stores - tobacco and tobacco-related products are placed at the "point of sale." That means that products, which shoppers may not have intended to purchase, are visible at eye level by the checkout counter. These types of displays attract the shopper's attention and oftentimes lead to impulse buying.

According to Professor Richard Pollay at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, "eye level is buy level." Point-of-sale marketing was also designed to educate shoppers about new products, as well as to leave a lasting impression on them. This is not a good sales design when we are talking about children and tobacco. If we can teach our children about this marketing strategy, they will be more aware of how companies are attracting them when they are out with their friends.

Another way that family and community members can help children lead healthier lives is by asking merchants to relocate or mask (cover) tobacco and tobacco-related products. The American Academy of Pediatrics was involved in a study that measured the effects that banning tobacco displays at the point of sale had on youth purchases of these products. The study showed youth were less likely to purchase tobacco products when tobacco, tobacco products and displays were removed from the point of sale. Some younger children were not even aware that these products were for sale, as they were not visible.

The above strategies can have a great effect on the health and well-being of our children, as the removal of tobacco from the point of sale can lead to reducing health issues related to tobacco use, reducing opportunities for peer pressure, and empowering children to make good decisions.

WENDY CHIRIELEISON

and SUE CRIDLAND

HealthLink Littauer

 
 

 

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