Tobacco Retailer Initiatives
Results from TFW’s 2016 Neighborhood Conversations
This past spring, Tobacco Free Wichita hosted seven Neighborhood Conversations for Wichitans, who are most often targeted by Big Tobacco. The goal was to educate the community about these ads and to ask if policies to reduce tobacco’s effe
ct in our community could cause harm in oppressed areas. Almost half of the attendees of our meetings were smokers and nearly all lived in areas of Wichita where people are often the target of tobacco ads.
Here is what they had to say:
- Community members agreed that the City of Wichita’s current ordinance that helps ensure tobacco products are not sold to minors (Chapter 7.60.) should be updated to include inspections at locations that sell electronic cigarettes, vaping devices, hookah, and similar products.
- Attendees recommended restricting tobacco sales at least 1,000 feet from schools and parks.
- Attendees also felt that over-exposure to tobacco ads could encourage kids to start using and supported a policy to reduce the number of ads at stores AND restrict the location of ads.
Why is tobacco advertising such an important issue?
- Tobacco advertising targets consumers where they can immediately buy the product (a.k.a. the point of sale)
- Tobacco companies spend an estimated $71-M annually on advertising at the point of sale in Kansas.
- Increased youth initiation is directly correlated with the number of visits to tobacco retailers, particularly for youth in areas with high retailer density.
- TFW’s 2014 tobacco retailer audit revealed that 21% of tobacco licenses in Wichita are located in neighborhoods with the lowest average household income and 68% of retailers were within 1,000-feet of schools.
For information on policy options to reduce the impact of tobacco advertising, click HERE.
Typical tobacco advertising tactics used to hook new and existing users:
- Tobacco ads next to harmless ads (candy, snacks, soda)
- Bright packaging to make them look appealing and like other kid products
- Discounted prices to keep low income users hooked
- Tempts smokers who are trying to quit (outside advertisements)
For more information on point-of-sale tobacco advertising, visit:
We enjoy partnering with you in our challenge to reduce Big Tobacco’s influence in our community! If you are interested in helping TFW, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-302-4839.