News From Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York: Community Partnerships Launch 'What's In Store For Our Kids' Campaign

(March 24, 2010)

Today, Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York launched a general awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers about the impact retail tobacco marketing has on youth smoking initiation. The campaign reflects research that in-store tobacco display placement and marketing is two times more likely to influence youths than adults. 

In 2006, the tobacco industry spent approximately $1.1 million per day to market its products in New York. A portion of this money is paid to licensed tobacco retailers to put their products in the most visible locations in the store. In New York State, there is one licensed tobacco retailer for every 194 adolescents and almost every licensed tobacco retailer displays interior cigarette advertising, with an average of 18 ads per store.

"The Community Partnership has designed a paid media campaign to educate communities about why we need to work with retailers to keep tobacco products out of view and reduce the number of places that sell tobacco," said Susan Kennedy, CP Media Project Coordinator.  "Children are more likely to be influenced by cigarette advertising than by peer pressure. As parents and loved ones of children it is imperative that we become aware and understand the impact that marketing tobacco products has on our youths."

One component of the campaign is paid media, designed to increase awareness on the relationship between point-of-sale tobacco marketing and youth smoking initiation, and annual cost to New York taxpayers, both in terms of money spent treating tobacco-related illnesses and in lives lost.

"While the campaign is focused on raising awareness throughout the state, it is imperative that we take this opportunity to educate New Yorkers on how much this is truly costing each and every one of us," said Scott T. Santarella, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York. "Annual smoking-related health care expenditures for New York State are $8.17 billion each year. This translates to $894 per household each year. In order to save lives and reduce this burden, it is time to limit the marketing of tobacco products to our children."

The campaign launches today in conjunction with national Kick Butts Day, in which thousands of youths in every state and around the world will "stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco." Paid media, for the campaign will begin on March 27. It is a natural fit to coincide the launch of the awareness campaign and national Kick Butts Day, as they share the goal of protecting youths from a lifetime of addiction.

Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York are funded by the NY Tobacco Control Program. Community Partnerships' educate community leaders and the public about the dangers and social costs of tobacco; engage local stakeholders to adopt policies that will restrict tobacco industry presence, de-normalize tobacco use, and eliminate secondhand smoke.

For more information, visit http://www.TobaccoFreeNYS.org.

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