The tobacco industry spends almost $8.8 billion every year to market their products. That’s an average of $24 million per day.
The bulk of this advertising takes place in retail stores that are frequented by young people. Here is what our youth see all the time in retail stores across the state, and here is what Vermonters are doing to protect Vermont’s youth from the tobacco industry.
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70% of youth visit convenience stores at least once a week. Although other types of tobacco marketing have been restricted, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other retail outlets remain places where kids are certain to see colorful tobacco products and advertising. These ads and products (that look like candy and are sold in candy flavors) are often placed near candy and ice cream and/or at the eye level of youth. It is no coincidence that 85% of teenagers prefer Marlboro, Camel, and Newport, which are the three most heavily advertised brands.
Youth don't need to go inside the store to be bombarded by tobacco advertisements - tobacco marketing is highly visible to youth from outside the store as well. According to their own internal documents, tobacco companies try to attract new young smokers by targeting retail stores near schools and parks.
41% of tobacco retail stores in Vermont have some form of exterior tobacco advertising.