A new study conducted using a virtual reality game suggests teens may be less likely to try to buy cigarettes at convenience stores if they aren’t sold in plain sight behind the counter.
Studies show that the more time youth spend in these stores, the more likely they are to start using tobacco. In New York City, there are 9,700 licensed tobacco retailers, and approximately 75 percent of these stores are located within one thousand feet of a school perimeter. Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco marketing two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t. We should limit the sale of tobacco near schools to reduce our youth’s easy access to tobacco products. 65% of New Yorkers support limiting tobacco retailers near schools.
In New York State, the tobacco industry spends $1 million every day marketing its deadly products. We need to more to protect our youth from Big Tobacco’s targeted marketing. Why aren’t we insisting that tobacco retailers remove tobacco displays given this new study?
We believe it is unacceptable that our youth be lured into a lifetime of nicotine addiction and should be protected from tobacco product displays. Policies that require retailers to store tobacco products out of view could have a positive health impact and reduce the chances of kids lighting up.