Monday, 25 January 2021

Local retailers change tobacco advertising

LAKE COUNTY Lake County tobacco retailers have stepped up efforts in the ongoing “undo tobacco” campaign to minimize the exposure of tobacco product advertising to children.

One of the ways that tobacco companies continue in their drive to market tobacco to youth is through sign and display placement in stores. While tobacco companies provide these materials free of charge, they also pay large amounts, in the way of incentives, to retailers to keep signage at an eye level that will attract both potential and current smokers to their brands.

Many studies have shown that children who are constantly exposed to tobacco advertising are more likely to become smokers. That is obvious in national surveys that have shown that up to 93 percent of current smokers started before the age of 18.

“Lake Country tobacco retailers have really stepped up to the plate,” said Michael Rupe, program coordinator at Lake Family Resource Center. “In 2005 we only had 12 retailers willing to make the difficult choice to move and/or remove signage from the eye level of children, generally below 3 feet. This is a large financial commitment the tobacco retailers are making to protect Lake County children because the stores lose some of the incentives paid by tobacco companies.”

Working with the Lake FRC Tobacco Control Program, 19 Lake County tobacco retailers have signed policies agreeing to move all tobacco advertising away from candy and snack areas and eliminate any advertising signs located below 3 feet.

The stores who have joined the campaign are:

– Clearlake: Nott’s Liquors, Parkview Market and Kool & Cash;

– Lakeport – Bruno’s Shop Smart, Longs Drugs and Safeway;

– Nice: North Shore Sentry Market and Valero;

– Upper Lake: Highway Grocery and Blue Lakes Country Store;

– Kelseyville: Kelseyville Food Center, Mt. Konocti Gas, Kit’s Corner Store and Riviera Market;

– Middletown and Cobb: Hardester’s Markets;

– Hidden Valley: Hidden Valley Food Mart;

– Lucerne: Lakeview Market;

– Clearlake Oaks/Spring Valley: Russ Valley Pantry.

The Lake FRC Tobacco Control Program “undo tobacco” campaign provides educational materials and training for retail staff on ways to minimize the marketing of tobacco products to local youth.

For more information about the program, or if you would like to join in the efforts to “undo tobacco” in Lake County, call Michael Rupe at the LakeFRC Tobacco Control Program, 262-1611.


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