Cigarettes and Slush Puppies

October 19, 2012

Earlier this year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and our partners issued a report showing how tobacco companies have enlisted convenience stores as their most important partners in marketing cigarettes and other tobacco products – and in fighting policies to reduce tobacco use.

Tobacco companies pay stores billions each year to ensure their products are advertised heavily, displayed prominently and priced cheaply to attract kids and keep current tobacco users hooked.

One of the tactics tobacco companies and stores use is to place tobacco ads and product displays at kids’ eye level or near candy.  They also mingle tobacco ads with those for other products that appeal to kids, such as Slush Puppie drinks.

This cynical marketing sends a deadly message to kids: Cigarettes are as common, normal and appealing as other products they enjoy, such as candy and slush drinks.

Our partners at Counter Tobacco have compiled a comprehensive image gallery of point-of-sale tobacco marketing.  Several photos taken this year, at stores across the United States, show how marketing for cigarettes and Slush Puppies is often mingled:


Carrboro, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Counter Tobacco

Waipahu, Hawaii

Photo courtesy of Counter Tobacco/Nicole Sutton

Mishawaka, Indiana

Photo courtesy of Counter Tobacco/Sandi Pontius

Fort Edward, New York

Photo courtesy of Counter Tobacco

Research has found that store advertising is highly effective at reaching kids.  While other forms of tobacco marketing have been restricted, convenience stores and other retail outlets remain places where kids are certain to see tobacco advertising and promotions, often near their schools and playgrounds.  Research has found that two-thirds of teenagers visit a convenience store at least once a week.