Cortland Health Department

Kicking Butt for Kids’ Sake

Posted by  //  March 20, 2014  //  News

Tobacco products are one of the most heavily marketed goods in America, fueling the competition among big tobacco companies to sell the most products and make the most profit. The retail environment is the top location in which tobacco marketing, advertising and promotional efforts take place.  According to the Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2011, “the six largest cigarette companies spent 90.9% of their total sales on advertising, coupons and promotional expenditures”.

Based on many uncovered tobacco company documents, tobacco companies have determined individuals just 13 years of age to be their target consumers and market their products strategically to them. Each year in New York State, more than 15,000 youth under the age of 18 become new smokers and 107,000 high school students are currently smokers. The more youth are exposed to tobacco advertising and promotional activities, the more likely they are to start using tobacco. The extensive use of price-reducing promotions by these companies has led to significantly higher levels of tobacco use among young people that would not have occurred if these promotions didn’t exist.

Kick Butts Day is today, March 19th.  Communities should consider what they can do to prevent young people from ever starting to use tobacco.  Taking into consideration CVS Caremark’s decision to no longer sell tobacco products, local decision makers should consider regulatory measures to prohibit the sale of tobacco in all pharmacies.  Other options include covering up store tobacco displays and prohibit the sale of tobacco in proximity to schools.  Kick Butts Day is the perfect time to take a stand for the future of our youth.

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