Tobacco marketing bad

Did you know the tobacco marketing expenditures far exceed spending on toy marketing? In 2012, the toy industry spent $1.26 billion to market its products. By comparison, in 2011, the tobacco industry spent $8.8 billion. That is nearly seven times the amount of the toy industry.

We don’t see tobacco advertised on TV like toys, but tobacco companies have enlisted convenience stores as their most important marketing partner. These stores are frequented by youths and can heavily and prominently display tobacco products near cash registers and candy where youths will see them every time they shop.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of teenagers enter a convenience store at least once a week. Their average visit is 16 minutes, which is twice as long as adults. Youths who visit convenience stores more than twice per week are 64 percent more likely to begin smoking within the next 12 months than their peers who visit convenience stores less than once per week.

To learn how you can become involved to reduce tobacco marketing in retail stores and to create a healthier community, visit or

SHAUNA SITTS, program coordinator,

Reality Check of Hamilton, Fulton and

Montgomery Counties