News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County Uses World No Tobacco Day to Draw Attention to Point-of-Sale Advertising
May 31, 2020

On May 31st each year there is a worldwide observation called World No Tobacco Day. This year, the message focuses on tobacco and nicotine marketing that is geared to kids and young people at retail locations.

E-cigarette use has exploded among Florida youth. Research indicates that advertising influences youth to try products. As Counter Tobacco, a policy resource organization says, ads build relationships with potential customers. Go to a local convenience store and look around. Are ads for candy or sweet items near e-cigarette/tobacco products or their advertisements? Are tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements waist high or lower on the entry doors? Are any tobacco products or e-cigarettes placed on the counter (even in clear cases), or near things that kids would buy? The chances are very high that you will answer “yes” to one or more of these questions. Whose attention do you think these types of advertisements are meant to attract?

If there is one thing we’ve learned from tobacco company internal memos it is that they have their eyes on our youth as their next group of customers. When Congress gained access to internal tobacco company memos, we found out for sure that added flavors like cherry and honey, colors, and even branding were all geared to attract the attention of kids.

Research shows us that kids are influenced by tobacco advertising. This makes sense. Why would tobacco companies spend $1,000,000 per day on something that has no impact? That would be an enormous waste of money. What the research reveals is that students who attend schools in neighborhoods with a higher density of tobacco retailers have more risk of becoming smokers (Henrickson, et al., 2008).

A new study of at-risk youth susceptibility to tobacco advertising further shows that these students had a higher risk of smoking e-cigarettes, cigarettes and cigars. They also had a higher risk of using smokeless tobacco. This study concluded that advertising at the point of sale actually had an influence on the use of alternative tobacco products (like e-cigarettes) among at-risk youth (Beleva, et al., 2018).

Communities can make some changes to the local retail environment to help keep youth from being influenced by the million dollar per day influence of tobacco companies. Simple changes such as creating local licensing for tobacco and e-cigarette retailers can also protect youth by limiting the number of retailers near their schools and parks, and the density of tobacco and nicotine retailers in neighborhoods. Communities can use policies that fit with their schools, neighborhoods, parks and common areas to make sure that kids can just be kids without the tobacco industry constantly attracting them with their million dollars of advertising each day.

For more information on how you can help reduce youth access and exposure to tobacco products in Gilchrist County, contact us at