Tobacco companies spend approximately 90% of their marketing dollars on point-of-sale promotion and price discounts. They invest billions at the point-of-sale because they know this type of marketing attracts the form of new, young customers who, because of the powerful addictive properties of nicotine, are likely to be life-long tobacco users.
According to the Surgeon General’s 2012 report:
- Tobacco use is a “pediatric epidemic”.
- Tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking.
- Each day across the United States over 3,800 youth under 18 years of age start smoking.
- Among adults who become daily smokers, nearly all first use of cigarettes occurs by 18 years of age (88%), with 99% of first use by 26 years of age.
- Exposing the developing brain to nicotine has been shown to alter its structure and function in a way that introduces long-lasting vulnerability for addiction to nicotine and other substances of abuse.
- Most young smokers become adult smokers. One half of adult smokers die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases.
Policy as a Solution
To protect our children, and support adults who want to end their addiction to nicotine and quit using tobacco, our state must reduce exposure to in-store tobacco marketing. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and repeated exposure to tobacco marketing creates curiosity among impressionable youth and unnecessary triggers for those trying to quit.
Policy options available to protect youth and support adults include:
- Requiring tobacco products be kept out of customer view
- Restricting the number, type, and location of Tobacco Retailers
- Reduce density – number of tobacco retailers
- Restrict tobacco retailing within proximity of schools
- Restrict Product Flavors
- Restrict the availability of all flavored products, both conventional and electronic, to remove menthol, mint, and child-friendly flavors, such as fruit or candy