Counteracting Tobacco Marketing at Retailers in Martin County
July 31, 2016

Over the past year, volunteers and task force members have been working on a pilot project in Martin County with Counter Tools, an organization that provides technology tools, training, and technical assistance to public health practitioners and researchers who are working to enact and enforce policy, systems and environmental interventions to promote public health.

Task Force members have been working hard to assess over 150 retailers in Martin County, studying things like how they price tobacco products, where they are placed, and even access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  The assessment project took place over a course of six months, and volunteers visited stores all over Martin County that held tobacco retailer licenses to study how they were marketing and selling tobacco products.

What did they discover?
Over the course of the store assessments, the Martin County Point of Sale Task Force had many findings of interest relating to how tobacco products are marketed and sold in our community.

The Martin County Point of Sale Task Force has committed to addressing signage issues at stores that are currently not properly displaying required tobacco warnings and age of sale signs.  A large amount of these stores are located in and around Port Salerno and Indiantown, and efforts will be concentrated on these areas.

Youth access to tobacco products and advertisements targeting youth remain one of the primary concerns of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County.  Each year, tobacco companies spend over $11 billion a year to market their products, which represents $8,500 spent to recruit each of the new 1.3 million teenage smokers each year.  85% of those advertising dollars are spent directly at retail outlets.

To learn more about the Tobacco Free Partnership’s efforts to counteract tobacco marketing at retail outlets and the work of the Point of Sale Task Force, visit www.tfp-martin.org.