Over the years, the tobacco industry has become increasingly limited in how they are allowed to advertise their harmful products. Laws have been passed to restrict tobacco advertising throughout the United States. Currently, tobacco products are mainly advertised where they are sold- in grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores, and specialty tobacco shops. Youth visit many of these retailers (like grocery stores and gas stations) on a regular basis, whether they are with friends or their parents.
The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars every year on advertising in the United States, and they are using a lot of that money on promotions and advertisement at retail locations. They are able to advertise inside and outside of these locations, and they use not only regular poster advertisements, but also items such as change cups and counter mats. These advertisements target and attract shoppers right where they can buy specific products or brands.
SWAT youth have been involved in conducting surveys to evaluate the types and amount of tobacco advertising being displayed at retail locations in Sarasota County. SWAT is working toward educating community members on tobacco retail advertising and how it targets youth.