PROMOTION – Communicating with the Consumer through Ads and Product Displays in Stores

Retail environment

You may not have seen all the tobacco marketing in the stores, but your kids have. It’s right there by the register, where they check out. Tobacco product displays, on average, take up 34 square feet of space in the most visible location in stores–directly behind the checkout counter.


Above is a typical display. If you don’t use tobacco, you may not even notice, but kids do. Kids see. Kids notice. Kids remember. In fact, kids are more than twice as likely as adults to notice and remember retail tobacco marketing.

  • Each year in NYS, 10,600  youth become new daily smokers and 15 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by NYS children.
  • Every day, the tobacco industry spends more than half a million dollars in New York State to market its products, more than the amount spent to market junk food, soda, and alcohol combined.
  • Tobacco companies place most of their advertising where young people shop – in convenience stores, where 75% of teens shop at least once per week.
  • In NYS, retail stores average 5 exterior and 21 interior tobacco ads.
  • The more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke.

In the 2012 Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, the U.S. Surgeon General sounds the alarm for communities to respond to youth tobacco use by addressing the causes, including tobacco industry marketing to young people.


  • Limit the number of tobacco retailers per capita or in a specific geographic area
  • Limit the number of tobacco retailers near schools and other child-friendly locations

Learn more from the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center