On World No Tobacco Day, the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition Urges Public to Take Action to Protect Children from Tobacco Marketing
New statewide #SeenEnoughTobacco campaign aimed at hard-hitting tobacco marketing affecting children
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
ELMIRA – Youth in this region have seen enough tobacco marketing, according to Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, and it’s time to protect them and put an end to youth smoking and other tobacco use. To safeguard children from the billions of dollars of vivid tobacco marketing in places where they can see it, the #SeenEnoughTobacco campaign launches regionally and statewide on World No Tobacco Day, May 31.
The campaign takes a hard look at what’s happening with tobacco marketing and children through the use of video, social media (#SeenEnoughTobacco), digital advertising and a “Jack and Jill (and Tobacco)” storybook that describes children’s encounters with tobacco marketing in convenience stores. Provocative images creatively combine cigarettes with common children’s items, like crayons and birthday cake, in scenarios intended to grab the attention of community members and parents and prompt their outrage. Viewers will be compelled to learn what they can do to protect children from tobacco marketing at the campaign’s new website www.SeenEnoughTobacco.org.
In New York State, the average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. The U.S. Surgeon General calls smoking a “pediatric epidemic” and says, “Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.” Even with all of this data, research shows stores popular among adolescents contain almost three times more tobacco marketing materials compared to other stores in the same community.
“If the tobacco industry ISN’T marketing to youth, why are they spending billions of dollars in places that kids visit regularly?” asked Anthony Billoni from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Every day in New York State, the tobacco industry spends more than half a million dollars to market its products in places where children can see them using bright, bold colors and large signs. Whether you’re a parent or not, smoker or non-smoker, we can all agree that tobacco marketing’s influence on our children is outrageous. It’s our responsibility as a community to protect our children from tobacco marketing and put an end to this pediatric epidemic.”
Additional findings on tobacco industry marketing and the effect of smoking on children and young adolescents indicate:
About Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition
The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control funds Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition to increase support for New York State’s tobacco-free norm through youth action and community engagement. Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit, and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.