WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Tobacco Free Coalition is hosting a community conversation, Unmasking Tobacco and Vaping: What Every Adult Needs to Know About Marketing, Flavors, Addiction and Our Youth, from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16.
The panelists for this conversation include:
- Dr. Lisa Hatcher, MD, a family medicine specialist and obstetrician in Columbia City who has over 23 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1997 and is affiliated with medical facilities Parkview Regional Medical Center and Parkview Whitley Hospital.
- Heidi Blake, program director at the Kosciusko County Tobacco Free Coalition. She has been with the coalition for six years and is passionate about youth tobacco prevention and helping to create a tobacco free generation.
- Cayman Blake, a freshman at Warsaw Community High School and a Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids National Youth Ambassador. He has won several awards for his work in youth tobacco prevention and partnered with U.S. Senator Todd Young on the Tobacco 21 bill that is now a federal law.
Big Tobaccos spends about $1,000,000 an hour in the United States on tobacco marketing and advertising. Much of their marketing and advertising budget is spend at point-of-sale.
The reason why companies invest so much money in point-of-sale marketing is because they know it works. First, point-of-sale marketing has been shown to increase the likelihood that youth will start using tobacco and progress to regular tobacco use. This is especially important for tobacco companies because 9 in 10 smokers start by the time they turn 18 and 99% start by age 26. Tobacco companies know that if young people do not start using tobacco early, the likely never will. Maintaining a base of youth and young adult smokers in crucial for sustaining their business and profits.
Additionally, the retail setting is a powerful way to reach young people, as about 7 in 10 youth shop at convenience stores at least once per week. Point-of-sale marketing makes it more difficult for tobaccos users to quit. Research has shown that tobacco users exposed to point-of-sale marketing may experience more tobacco cravings, are more likely to make impulse buys and less likely to successfully quit. Point-of-sale marketing, therefore, contributes to keeping current tobacco users addicted to and using tobacco.
Point-of-sale marketing disproportionately targets some communities. This type of marketing often targets communities with a high proportion of low-income or minority residents. Often, these groups are already disproportionately impacted by tobacco, so point-of-sale marketing contributes to disparities in tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.
Join the coalition this Wednesday for Unmasking Tobacco and Vaping: What Every Adult Needs to Know About Marketing, Flavors, Addiction and Our Youth on GoToMeeting, http://global.gotomeeting.com/join/956426541.