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Home > Research Articles > Cigarette Displays in Stores May Encourage Teen Smoking

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that cigarette advertising displays in stores where adolescents shop may encourage teens to smoke, Reuters reported March 8. According to CDC researchers, tobacco ads appear in 92 percent of the more than 3,000 retail outlets located near public schools throughout the United States. Furthermore, three out of four teens shop at least once a week in these convenience stores, gas stations, and liquor stores. Among the tobacco promotions were interior and exterior signs placed low enough to be in eye level of young children, self-service cigarette displays, and discounts. The study further showed that the promotions contain brightly colored pictures and themes of social attractiveness that appeal to adolescents. "The findings in this report indicate that certain retail environments frequented by teenagers heavily promote tobacco use," the researchers concluded. They recommended that convenience store advertising of tobacco be examined with an eye on reducing demand for tobacco products among teens. "The study should serve as a wake-up call that Congress needs to grant agencies like the Food and Drug Administration the authority to restrict tobacco marketing whose primary impact is on children," said Matthew Myers, president of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids