Marketing Tobacco to Children

In 2009 and 2010, President Obama signed into law the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act ("FDA Act") and the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT) in an effort to curb the availability of tobacco products to children. For more information about these laws, visit our federal laws webpage.

Point-of-sale marketing has previously been researched and identified as a major contributor of teen smoking. Read a news article about a Stanford School of Medicine study published July 2010 in Pediatrics.

This March, 2012 Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids report highlights point-of-sale marketing tactics by the tobacco companies by using convenience stores and other retail outlets as a dominant channel to market and sell tobacco products in the United States through point-of-sale marketing. According to the report:

"Point-of-sale marketing is very effective at reaching and influencing kids. While other forms of tobacco marketing have been restricted, convenience stores, gas stations and other retail outlets remain places where kids are certain to see tobacco advertising and promotions, often near their schools and playgrounds. These stores are the same places kids and adolescents go to buy candy, sodas and afterschool snacks, making them highly effective venues for marketing to kids. In fact, research has found that two-thirds of teenagers visit a convenience store at least once a week. Studies have found that cigarette marketing is more prevalent in stores where adolescents shop frequently and that tobacco advertisements and product displays are often placed at young kids’ eye level or near candy. In addition, tobacco company documents show that the companies have targeted convenience stores, grocery stores and other tobacco vendors near schools and playgrounds in an effort to attract young smokers."

Read the press release about the report.

New Read this August 29, 2013 New York Times news article about the marketing of electronic smoking devices by the tobacco industry. Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is quoted, “It is beyond troubling that e-cigarettes are using the exact same marketing tactics we saw the tobacco industry use in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, which made it so effective for tobacco products to reach youth.”

New In August 2013, Scotland announced that to discourage tobacco use by youth, cigarettes and cigars in airport duty-free shops will be displayed in a separate ‘tobacco area’, which is not visible from any other part of the premises. Scottish airport stores are phasing in the requirement. Read an August 12, 2013 Travel News article about the plan to protect children from the marketing of tobacco products in Scottish airports.

Last update: 9/11/13