Big Tobacco Targets Kids.
90% of smokers started before the age of 18. Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t. [i]
The Tobacco industry uses three main tactics in its efforts to hook kids on tobacco products.The industry makes its products:
- Sweet: The tobacco industry uses flavoring to attract young people by disguising the taste of tobacco.
- Cheap: The tobacco industry prices these products cheaply to encourage impulse buys by adolescents.
- Easy to get: These cheap tobacco products are easily available to young people in gas stations, pharmacies, corner stores, grocery stores, mini-marts, and many other types of retail stores throughout Massachusetts.
The industry targets young people because their bodies and brains are more susceptible to nicotine addiction.
- Talk with your kids/students/peers about tobacco and ask them what they see, hear, and think. The more our kids are exposed to these products, the more likely they are to start smoking and use other tobacco products.
- Engage young people you know in The 84 Movement.The 84 is MTCP’s youth initiative that empowers youth to make changes in their own communities and to spread the message that the majority of Massachusetts high school students do not smoke. Over 1,200 youth are currently registered with chapters in the 84.
- Contact your local Tobacco-Free Community Partnerships to learn more about this issue and engage with other community members.
- Connect with Tobacco Free Mass: Tobacco Free Mass has additional information on efforts to combat the tobacco industry’s influence on a statewide basis.
*This is Tobacco Marketing was adapted from the Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York, funded by the NYS Bureau of Tobacco Control.
[i] Henriksen, Schleicher, Feiughery and Fortmann. Pediatrics: The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. July 19, 2010, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009 3021