You may think that the cigarette and tobacco racks at your local gas station, convenience store or grocery are for the convenience of the store clerks, but in reality they are placed there for tobacco marketing. People who are trying to quit using tobacco know what I am talking about because every time they walk into such a store, their urge to use is stimulated by the display in front of them.
Tobacco products are visible to all, and colorful, prominent tobacco displays are visible and attractive to children - kind of like a candy counter. Every year, about 20,000 youth in New York state become new daily smokers and about 30 million packs of cigarettes are bought. There is one licensed tobacco retailer for every 194 children in New York state. Retailers average about 32 square feet behind the checkout counter for tobacco displays. Research shows that retailers near schools have more products on display and more tobacco marketing signs.
Concerned parents and community members can take action to protect our children and help those older tobacco users who are trying to recover and be healthier by contacting TobaccoFreeNYS.org, or please visit www.projectactionhfm.org.
HFM Prevention Council