Tobacco-Free Kids Launches National Campaign that Calls on Retailers to End Tobacco Sales, Makes It Easy for Consumers to Shop Tobacco-Free

New Website and Map Connect Shoppers to Over 13,000 Tobacco-Free Stores Across America

Oct. 20 2014

WASHINGTON, DC — The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids today is launching a new national campaign that calls on America’s retailers to stop selling tobacco products — the nation's number one cause of preventable death – and encourages consumers to shop tobacco-free.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a new mobile-friendly website — www.ShopTobaccoFree.org — with an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of tobacco-free retailers across the country. The website and map make it easy for shoppers to find and support the tobacco-free retailers nearest them.

The website currently features more than 20 retail chains with more than 13,000 separate store locations. These include CVS Health, which last month became the first national pharmacy chain to end tobacco sales at all its stores. Other tobacco-free retailers range from major corporations such as Target and Wegmans to independently-owned stores.

Other elements of the website include:

  • Tools that connect the public with retailers over Facebook and Twitter to either thank them for being tobacco-free or ask them to end tobacco sales.
  • Social media toolkits to help spread awareness of the campaign and window stickers that stores can use to show they are tobacco-free.
  • A Retailer Wall of Fame and Shame listing retailers that do and don’t sell tobacco products.

Retail stores play a critical role today in the availability and marketing of deadly tobacco products.

An estimated 375,000 retail stores sell tobacco products in the United States despite the fact these products kill 480,000 Americans and cost the country at least $289 billion in health care bills and lost productivity each year. About 90 percent of all adult smokers began by age 18 or earlier, and 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking without strong action to prevent it, according to the latest Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health released in January.

Retail stores are also where most tobacco marketing takes place today. Of the $8.8 billion a year that tobacco companies spend each year to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, more than 90 percent is spent on marketing at the retail level on advertising, price promotions and discounts, payments for prominent displays of tobacco products, and other marketing tactics (marketing data from the Federal Trade Commission’s 2011 reports on tobacco marketing).

Studies have shown that exposure to tobacco products and marketing in stores increases the likelihood that kids will start smoking and makes it harder for smokers to quit by prompting impulse purchases.

"Far too many retailers today are a major part of the tobacco problem in our country and are practically billboards for the tobacco industry. By ending tobacco sales, retailers can become part of the solution and help make the next generation tobacco-free," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Responsible retailers should not be in the business of selling products that kill so many people and endanger the health of our children."

Visit our new website at www.ShopTobaccoFree.org.

Download high-resolution images from our campaign, including social media graphics and screen grabs from the website.

 

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