Children living in high poverty neighborhoods with the least number of resources have the greatest exposure to tobacco marketing.
We saw this first-hand during our most recent round of Licensed Tobacco Retailer store observations in the City of Schenectady. Of the 53 Licensed Tobacco Retailers (LTRs) located within 1500′ of a school in Schenectady County, 72% (38) are located in the City of Schenectady. Of these 38 stores, 35 are located in zip codes in which only 42.5% of the county population lives and that also have the highest poverty rates—12303, 12304, 12305 and 12307.
On October 25, we gathered data through in person observations at 31 licensed tobacco retailers (LTRs) located within 1500’ of one or more schools in zip codes 12303, 12304, 12305 and 12307. Through our observations we found that there are 10 tobacco retailers located within 1,500 feet of Hamilton Elementary School, with six located near Keane Elementary and five near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
We summarized our findings in a visual tour of what tobacco marketing and promotion actually looks like in the City of Schenectady’s highest poverty neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are inundated with tobacco marketing and promotion. Research shows that the greater your exposure to tobacco advertising, marketing and promotion, the more likely you are to start or continue tobacco use.
Staff presented these findings to both the Schenectady City Council and the Schenectady County Legislature. Our report was featured in the Daily Gazette.
Check out the report: City of Schenectady Licensed Tobacco Retailer Observations: Summary of Findings November 2023. If you’re alarmed at what you learn, please join our efforts to reduce the impact of tobacco marketing in our community. Contact us today!