Tobacco companies spend millions of dollars in these point-of-sale displays. “Power Wall” displays, interior and exterior advertising, and discount promotions are common methods of building brand recognition and loyalty, attracting kids’ attention, and undermining smokers’ motivations to quit.
Preventing the next generation of smokers is at the heart of the statewide ”Point of Sale” (POS) campaign. More than 85% of smokers start before the age of 18 (the average is 14). At current smoking rates, more children alive today will eventually die from smoking related illness than from alcohol, illegal drugs, AIDS, car accidents, murder and suicide combined. How can we change this sad, startling statistic? Bold action is needed.
Require tobacco to be kept out of sight in all retail stores open to children. When it comes to kids and tobacco “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” is the best policy.
Prohibit the sale of tobacco in pharmacies or stores containing a pharmacy. Pharmacies are part of the healthcare system. It is a conflict of interest and a breach of medical ethics (“first do no harm”) for pharmacies to sell a product that kills over 400,000 annually and causes serious illness in millions of users.
Freeze the number of licenses issued to sell tobacco and gradually reduce this number though a legal system of attrition.
The less visible and accessible tobacco products become, the stronger the perception that tobacco is not a product normally used or needed in everyday life.
Reducing the number of stores that sell tobacco makes prevention and cessation efforts more effective by decreasing social acceptability and changing the norm. NYS Community Partnerships are working with pharmacies and grocery stores to stop selling tobacco products.