When tobacco is sold near homes and schools, everyone’s health suffers. Children are more likely to smoke when they live or go to school near stores that sell tobacco. We aim to decrease the number of stores that sell tobacco in our neighborhoods, making tobacco less visible and harder for young people to get.
In California, 13.5% of Latino youth use tobacco. Communities that have high percentages of Hispanic/Latinos tend to have fewer smoke-free policies within their communities and fewer restrictions on tobacco retail outlets. This allows the tobacco industry to market to our youth.
More than half of adults who shop in convenience stores on a daily basis have children under the age of 18. The tobacco industry is using flavored products, colorful packages and they display products in locations that are easily visible to children. This marketing is designed to target these children and youth so that they can create a new generation of users.
In 2014, the California Department of Public Health conducted a survey of tobacco retail outlets in California and found that 32.6% retailers had at least one tobacco ad at a child’s eye level (three feet or lower), and 40% of stores near schools actually placed tobacco products near candy at the checkout.
When tobacco is sold near homes and schools, everyone’s health suffers. Children are more likely to smoke when they live or go to school near stores that sell tobacco. We aim to decrease the number stores that sell tobacco in our neighborhoods, making tobacco less visible and harder for young people to get.
Flavors mask the harsh taste of the tobacco making it easier for young people to start using these products.
In fact, 81% OF YOUNG PEOPLE who have used tobacco started with a flavored tobacco product.
The tobacco industry has created Latin-inspired flavors such as horchata, flan, and tres leches that would appeal to Hispanic/Latino communities. They have also designed packaging and marketing using Latino culture to target our communities.
E-cigarettes are the most popular product amongst youth and there has been a significant increase in e-cigarette use among Hispanic/Latino youth.
E-cigarettes are devices that use a battery to heat a liquid nicotine solution (“e-liquid”). The heated e-liquid creates an aerosol that is breathed into the lungs.
The aerosol is NOT harmless water vapor. It is a mixture of nicotine, chemicals, and small particles that can harm lungs and lead to addiction.
Since 2009, flavored cigarettes, with the exception of menthol, have been banned. However, the tobacco industry took full advantage of the loopholes left for other tobacco products and created thousands of kid-friendly flavors for e-cigarettes and hundreds of flavors for small cigars. They then added kid-friendly names and packaging, and targeted kids with social media advertising.
Collaborating with stores in our communities to stop selling tobacco and make shopping environments healthier for children and families is a key initiative for VIVE. If you want to get involved and learn what programs and strategies can help encourage healthy stores in your community, contact us today.