A lot's been done to stop tobacco companies from targeting kids. But there's new research that's showing it's not enough. Even though big tobacco billboard and magazine ads don't target kids anymore there are still lots of cigarette ads at gas stations and stores.
A group of high schooelrs produced a commercial against tobacco. They're doing it to try and convince kids to boycott nearby convenience stores that sell individual cigarettes which are called 'loosies'. A 16 year old named Candace said, "A lot of times kids my age or younger take their change and with their little 75 cents they get three cigarettes or so."
The institute for Health Research estimates that if retail stores had no tobacoo advertising, there would be an 11 percent decline in the number of teen smokers. Experts say for some kids, tobacco ads work and warning about health risks don't. "Some kids can be influenced by the dangers- lung cancer, heart disease, all kinds of different problems- but that happens in the future. Kids are now oriented. If it doesn't happen now it isn't meaningful.", said Linda Lee, an Anti-Smoking Advocate.
Experts say there are ways kids can understand how they're being manipulated by tobacco ads. "Looking at advertising in stores, trying to understand how that advertising impacts themselves and their peers. Assessing the availability of tobacco products. Is it in front of the counter, is it behind the counter.", said Andy Lord. Lord works with the American Cancer Society.
here's not much we can do about it but just not buy it."
$14.2 billion dollars is how much the tobacco industry spent on retail advertising in 2003. That's 94 percent of all of it's promotional spending.