News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County Conducts Assessment of Local Tobacco Advertising
June 4, 2021

In the first few months of this year, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County and the Gilchrist County Tobacco Prevention Specialist conducted a data collection throughout the county’s tobacco retailers. Nineteen tobacco retailers were assessed using the Florida Store Assessment created by CounterTools.  This assessment was conducted in convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and large chain retailers. 

CounterTools conducted the data analysis from all sixty-seven counties in Florida to create the Gilchrist County Tobacco Store Assessment Summary 2020-2021, comparing the state average and each county retailers’ assessments.  In Gilchrist County, 68.4% of the tobacco retailers assessed were convenience and/or gas stations.  Over 73.7% of retailers assessed in Gilchrist County had posted aged of 21 for tobacco sales.  Every retailer assessed sold cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (dip, chew) and cigarillos. 94.7% of all retailers sold a form of electronic cigarette (e-cigs, vape, etc.) which highlights the growth in youth vaping use. 

An emerging nicotine product that was in 84.2% of all Gilchrist County retailers is an oral nicotine. These can be lozenges, orbs, strips, sticks or pouches that do not contain tobacco leaf.  Examples of these are On!, Velo, Zyn, and Dryft.  The local retailers that sell these products post advertising on doors, windows and near the cash register.  Many adults do not know what these new products are and do not recognize the ads. Tobacco and nicotine products and advertisements at the point-of-sale prompt youth to start using these products. 

Statewide, 8.6% of retailers assessed had self-service displays, where there is access to tobacco products without a clerk assistance. Thankfully 0% of the Gilchrist County tobacco retailers assessed had tobacco products where the customer can take the tobacco product instead of having to ask for assistance. Over 88.9% of those retailers had cigarillos as self-service displays and most often cost less than a dollar. 

The Tobacco industry spends $8.7 billion a year on point-of-sale advertising and marketing tobacco products. The placement of these tobacco products and ads makes it harder for people to quit smoking. This assessment of the Gilchrist County Tobacco Retailer reveals the ongoing need to protect our community and our youth from the tobacco industry tactics.