Tobacco industry marketing targets young people

The tobacco industry consistently targets populations through strategic marketing and point-of-wale advertising. You may not always notice these advertising patterns when tobacco products aren’t a common purchase for you, but exposure is what continues to drive their market.

For younger populations, these tactics are far more damaging as they play into the ability to easily influence and attract children. A variety of tobacco products are typically seen behind the counter nearby to the eye-level candies and snacks that children gravitate toward. Exposing children to eye-level advertisements of tobacco products is a blatant attempt to attract younger generations.

As a Tobacco Free Alachua Partnership member, I had the opportunity to conduct tobacco surveys within stores around Alachua County. More specifically, point-of-sale marketing data was collected to give the partnership a better idea of ​​tobacco in our community.

Point-of-sale marketing aims to influence behavior and attitudes toward tobacco through explicit and implicit approaches. Through this approach, an individual’s attention, memory and attitude toward tobacco behaviors can be subtly altered.

Conducting these surveys provided insight and attention to areas that, as a college student, are not always seen. A commonality between locations was to place a tobacco advertisement at the entrance or on the counter. Once again, these advertisements are placed at approximately a child’s eye level, right above the newest Snickers creation.

The point of sale of flavored products also has a continued impact on sales, more so than I ever knew. Standing in the store taking note of product placement, I found myself also being drawn to the unique packaging of “On!” nicotine pouches and the different tropical flavors of e-cigarettes.

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