Big Tobacco is talking to our kids everyday: in convenience stores, in magazines, online, and through special promotions designed to lure them into thinking that smoking is cool, or is a way to express their independence.
Exposure to tobacco marketing, which includes advertising, promotions, cigarettes samples, and pro-tobacco depictions in films, television and videos, more than doubles the odds that children under 18 will become tobacco users. As much as a third of all youth who experiment with smoking do so because of effective tobacco industry marketing.
Big Tobacco is actively capturing data about their young targets. They know their taste in music and fashion, what products their future customers might prefer, and how to reach them. Youth are highly influenced by retail store promotions, and almost half of all Maine high school students report experimenting with smoking. Find out more about the tactics of Big Tobacco.
The pull of tobacco advertising is stronger than ever. But many parents believe that tobacco use is a much lower risk than it used to be. That’s because a new generation of parents is arriving without the same exposure to important messages about tobacco advertising. Get the facts on how the tobacco industry targets children.
Advocating for prevention now prevents smoking later, and Maine’s strong political resolve and strong public health partnerships have led to real results.
But there is much more work ahead. While the tobacco industry is working to addict new customers to replace the thousands who die from using tobacco, efforts at prevention must be kept alive – in schools, communities, through prevention programs, through strong enforcement, and in the media – to inform each new generation.
What’s your role in Tobacco Prevention? Whether you are a Parent, Educator, Community, Youth or Young Adult, take the Next Step to learn more about tobacco prevention and protect youth from the dangers of tobacco.