Broward County’s efforts to help in the fight against tobacco marketing
By Nina Levine
BROWARD COUNTY, FL — Through point-of-sale marketing, the tobacco industry manipulates retail environments to increase sales and tobacco use. The tobacco industry spends about $9.5 billion a year to market its products through-out the United States, and approximately $614.2 million of that budget is spent in Florida.1 Strategies that restrict advertising, limit the number of retailers in neighborhoods, and prohibit price discounting can help reduce tobacco use and its negative health outcomes.2
While educating the local Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward on point-of-sale marketing, they have joined the local efforts to reduce youth exposure to this type of tobacco marketing, creating a subcommittee to work on this issue. “These marketing tactics clearly increase initiation of tobacco use among our youth,” said Dr. Barry Hummel, Chair of the Tobacco Free Partnership. “We are currently conducting a surveillance project with the support of Counter Tools, a North Carolina-based non-profit, to assess the density of tobacco advertising, particularly in stores that are close to school,” added Dr. Hummel.
In 2020-2021, The Point-of-Sale subcommittee in Broward County surveyed 42 stores throughout the county. Of the 42 stores, 43.9% of retailers did not have age of sale signs displayed and 19.1% had tobacco product advertisements within 3 feet of the floor, which is at children’s eye level.
You can join local efforts to help in the fight against tobacco marketing by joining the Point-of Sale subcommittee. The subcommittee meets on the 3rd Tuesday every other month at 3:30 p.m. The next meeting is on February 8, 2022. For more information on how to join and further assist the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County Point-of-Sale efforts, Contact Nina Levine at (954) 847-8060.