Tobacco companies spend the bulk of their marketing money at the retail stores with price discounts, prime product placement to attract buyers, and of course, advertisements. In 2008, of the $9.9 billion spent by cigarette companies on overall promotions, $9.2 billion, or 92 percent, was spent on point of sale advertisements, price discounts, promotional allowances, or special deals such as buy-one-get-one-free offers.
The increasing pervasiveness of tobacco promotion in retail outlets has been well documented. A 2008 study in Tobacco Control found that in California, the number of in-store cigarette advertisements increased from 22.7 to 24.9 between 2002 and 2005. An earlier study of California stores found that nearly 50 percent of the tobacco retailers had tobacco ads at young kids’ eye level (three feet or lower), and 23 percent had cigarette product displays within six inches of candy.
The issue of advertising in retail outlets is important because 75 percent of teens visit a convenience store at least once a week and point-of-purchase advertising and displays have been found to increase average tobacco sales by 12 percent. A study published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, concluded that the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke, and that restricting these retail marketing practices would reduce youth smoking.
Tobacco companies are well aware of the impact of their marketing. Now so are you. Talk about it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using hashtag: #WNTD2012!
Source: The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0156.pdf