As adults, we are often so busy and distracted that we don't notice the environment around us. When we go to check out at a convenience store or a pharmacy, we are more concerned with completing our transaction and getting out of the store than we are with looking around.
But if you stop and look, you will notice something striking; most convenience stores and chain pharmacy stores have big tobacco displays right there. On average, tobacco retailers in New York state provide 32 square feet behind the checkout counter.
Ask your children; they have probably noticed. Studies have shown that young people are almost twice as likely as adults to recall tobacco advertising.
Each year in New York state, 22,500 youths become new daily smokers and 31.6 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by youths in New York state. Teens who begin smoking are much more likely to become addicted, and so the cycle of death and illness from cigarette use continues.
So let us cheer retailers like Price Chopper in Johnstown that has covered its tobacco display. Small steps like this go a long way to improving the health of our children and our community.
For more information, go to www.projectactionhfm.org.