Q: How do tobacco companies target young people?
A: A recent study in California reveals that tobacco companies target young people. This is from the Data collected from a survey, part of the “Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community” campaign. By producing a variety of flavors and offering relatively low prices of their products, companies target youngsters. In addition, stores use marketing techniques to place tobacco products near kids-friendly places or close to schools.
Smoking is a Business
Go green! Eat bioproducts! So many slogans that bombard us with the importance of being eco-friendly and fit. While it’s important to be healthy, let’s be frank. Programs like the ones that the Food and Nutrition Service is trying to implement in schools are not working efficiently. In fact, kids still eat fast food. In addition, busy students still prepare frozen food. The healthiest activity which involve the majority of young people is a trip to the mall.
What’s more, businesses don’t seem to have any scruples. Even tobacco companies don’t hesitate to target young people. As a result, stores can sell their souls with ease with the only aim to sell their products.
What do the Statistics say About Tobacco?
A recent study in California reveals some scary facts. It was a part of the collaboration of various anti-smoking, alcohol-use prevention, sexually transmitted disease prevention, and nutrition partners. They called it the “Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community” campaign.
The study collected data over an extended period of time. Furthermore, they investigated the marketing techniques stores used to promote their products among young people. In fact, they had over participating 7100 retail stores across the state.
The overall conclusion shows that there’s an increase in sales of unhealthy products like tobacco, and alcohol. This is a significant warning for us.
as Dawn Dunn is one of the experts at the Tobacco Prevention with Santa Barbara Public Health Department. She says it’s not only in Santa Barbara County is the increase growing at an alarmingly “high rate”.
That’s scary but not surprising.
- Tobacco products with their variety of flavors are tempting. True, products with flavors, such as gummy bears, are available on the market.
- What’s more, the prices of some products are not so high. So why buy a candy when you can get a hold of some tobacco and look cool?
- Also, we should note that age restrictions don’t always work. Online sales or asking someone else to get you the desired product are alternatives for many minors.
Dr. Charity Dean, Santa Barbara Public Health Officer, exposes another terrifying marketing technique. You can find many tobacco products in kid-friendly locations.
Moreover, San Luis Obispo County, Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein says that 100% of the stores near schools offer tobacco. Dr. Borenstein adds, “The outreach is real to get these products into the hands of our kids. It’s very purposeful. This new attempt to hook a new generation of smokers is very disturbing.”
What is the Difference Between Smoking and Vaping?
There’s even a higher increase when it comes to the popular trend of vaping. This is the indication of a survey that has the aim to improve public health. The availability of vape pens and other vaporizers rose by 68%. Shockingly, statistics show that 14% of all teens vape. And as Dr. Charity Dean explains, “That is concerning to us because we are watching the rates increase. We also know that smoking E-Cigs are a gateway of smoking cigarettes.” She based these words on some previous studies. They showed that kids who used e-cigs were 2-8% more likely to start smoking within a year.
The results from the Ventura County are similar. Public Health Department Director Rigoberto Vargas says that all these techniques have one purpose. Tobacco companies need “replacement smokers.”
California is not an exception. The rise in electronic cigarettes is also evident in Pima County, Arizona, figures reveal. Actually, one can see many young people vaping all over the country.
Another interesting result from the study shows that 40% of stores sell fresh fruit and vegetables. However, in comparison, 80% of retail stores sell tobacco products. Who can explain that?
There is maybe a few positive perspectives from the survey. For example, you can find condoms in 60% of stores in Santa Barbara in the open. Data shows that teens feel more comfortable to purchase condoms when they don’t have to ask for the condoms. This has one very beneficial consequence. Using condoms is vital for the reproductive health and the future of young people. Moreover, it can lead to a significant decrease in STD.
Tobacco companies are trying all possible forms of manipulation to target young people. These are the results of the survey from above. This is merely because they can be the next generation of smokers. In fact, having a next generation is a gold mine for many corporations.
In conclusion, data also shows that vaping can be a gateway to smoking. Therefore, it’s important that e-cigs aren’t easily accessible for youngsters.
To sum up, this unhealthy lifestyle is on its rise. Of course, some unhealthy treats from time to time won’t hurt us. However, authorities are trying to collaborate with stores and educate the population. Meanwhile, our role as adults can also be beneficial. It’s up to us to teach our children, siblings, or younger friends. We need to help lead them in their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
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