169191 Have you noticed all the tobacco ads? Your kids have. Successful media and partnership strategies to encourage retailers to voluntarily remove tobacco signs

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kara J. Williams, MPH , Tobacco-Free Onondaga County, Onondaga County Health Department, Syracuse, NY
Research has shown that tobacco advertising and promotion is effective at getting youth to smoke: it more than doubles the odds that children under 18 will become tobacco users and is a more powerful influence than peer pressure. In addition to eliminating sales to minors, responsible tobacco product vending should mean protecting children from the tobacco advertising and promotions that have been shown to lead to smoking.

Tobacco-Free Onondaga County, a coalition of organizations and individuals funded by the New York State Department of Health, successfully worked with local retailers to voluntarily remove, reduce or rearrange tobacco advertising around their stores as part of an initiative to limit youth access to tobacco products and tobacco company advertising. As part of this project, a multi-tiered community education and media campaign was implemented over a five-month period that included television spots, billboards, print ads, and direct mail to retailers and over 30,000 families.

As a result of the initiative, more than 40 stores signed written policies to remove or reduce their tobacco advertising, including a large supermarket chain. In addition, a local Town Board passed a resolution in support of the project, earned media was garnered, and many local high school students became actively involved in the project.

Session attendees will learn about the research on which the initiative is based, the process for developing the education and media messages, including testing the materials among local retailers, lessons learned, and strategies for implementing such a campaign in their own community.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe current research that links youth exposure to tobacco advertising and promotion with smoking uptake. 2. Identify successful strategies for educating community members and tobacco retailers about the impact of tobacco signs on youth smoking. 3. Create a locally relevant media and community education campaign to encourage parents and youth to notice tobacco signs and advocate for their removal at local stores. 4. Develop a retailer education and outreach plan, based on sample materials and lessons learned from Onondaga County, New York.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Media Campaigns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the person primarily responsible for designing and implementing the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.