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CounterBalance launched in 2014 with one overarching goal: to counter the tobacco industry’s influence in the retail environment and its impact on Vermont’s youth.
Retail stores are the primary place where tobacco companies recruit new users, nearly 90% of whom are underage youth. In fact, according to their own internal documents, tobacco companies try to attract new, young smokers by targeting stores near schools and playgrounds.
Currently CounterBalance is working to raise awareness about the dangers of flavored tobacco products. The tobacco industry uses candy flavors and colorful packaging to make e-cigarettes, little cigars, and chew seem more appealing. In fact, two-thirds of tobacco-using youth said they use these products because they come in flavors they like.
The more often your children are exposed to flavored tobacco products and advertising, the more likely they are to start using tobacco. It’s time to end tobacco’s influence on Vermont’s kids.
Connect with Tobacco coalition leaders in your community to learn more about what is happening to address tobacco advertising in your area.
Want to get your kids involved? Click the following links to see what Vermont’s OVX and VKAT youth programs are doing in communities across the state.