OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County health advocates have seen enough marketing from the tobacco industry.
That’s the message they’ll be emphasizing today, May 31, World No Tobacco Day, along with partners around New York State and the world.
According to the Surgeon General, tobacco industry marketing is a cause of youth tobacco use.
Teen smoking is still a big problem in New York with more than 100,000 high school students smoking, and another 22,500 under 18 becoming new daily smokers every year.
World No Tobacco Day is sponsored by the World Health Organization.
This year’s world-wide theme is “ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship,” which is required under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.
However, the United States has not ratified the treaty, and therefore is not required to take these actions.
The teen smoking rate is not a surprise when you realize that stores in New York are filled with tobacco products and marketing:
• The tobacco industry spends nearly $200 million a year on marketing in New York State alone
• The average retailer displays an average of 32 square feet of tobacco products
• Pharmacies average 50 to 60 square feet of tobacco product displays
• 80 percent of tobacco retailers devote most of the merchandising space behind the counter to tobacco product displays
Numerous studies have linked tobacco marketing to youth smoking.
Most recently, a 2012 study using a virtual store found that youth who shop in stores with no tobacco product displays were less aware that tobacco products were for sale and significantly less likely to try purchasing them.
“Other countries and communities have limited tobacco marketing in stores, including banning tobacco displays,” said a Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County spokesperson. “This is an effective way to keep our kids from smoking.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to help reduce tobacco use, comprehensive advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans work to counteract:
• the deceptive and misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns;
• the unavoidable exposure of youth to tobacco marketing;
• the failure of the tobacco industry to self-regulate; and
• the ineffectiveness of partial bans.
World No Tobacco Day is sponsored by the World Health Organization and recognized around the world to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
For more information about the harmful effects of tobacco marketing and local efforts to protect our kids, visit www.seenenoughtobacco.org