ROCHESTER, NY (05/30/2012)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association of the Northeast, the Smoking and Health Action Coalition of Monroe County and the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes are joining the World Health Organization (WHO) to observe World No Tobacco Day on Thursday, May 31. This year's theme is Tobacco Industry Interference and focuses on the need to expose and counter the industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine global tobacco control efforts.
"What we're seeing in New York and elsewhere in the country is point of sale product display marketing that is cleverly designed to appeal to children," said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "On World No Tobacco Day, we want to draw attention to the fact when these tobacco displays are placed prominently at checkout counters next to candy and gum, it encourages kids to smoke. This is wrong; we know that the more tobacco marketing our kids see, the more likely they are to smoke."
Every hour of every day, the tobacco industry spends $1 million on marketing. Meanwhile, states, including New York, are failing to adequately invest in proven policies and programs to counteract this rampant tobacco marketing. This has resulted in 3 million new youth and young adult smokers, a third of whom will ultimately die from their addiction. More than 25,000 New Yorkers die each year as a result of smoking.
"In New York State alone, the tobacco industry spends approximately $1.1 million per day to market its products to youth," said Mary Judge, Director of the Smoking and Health Action Coalition of Monroe County. "Much of this marketing is done in convenience stores where 75% of teenagers shop at least once per week. It is projected that 389,000 New York State youth age 0-17 will die from smoking. Clearly, tobacco use remains a significant issue in our community and we must protect our youth from starting to use tobacco by limiting their exposure to in-store tobacco marketing."
"Reducing and removing tobacco marketing at retail checkout counters protects kids by reducing their exposure to enticing tobacco product packaging," said Penny Gugino, Coalition Director of the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes. "We protect our kids from danger every day. As tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, shouldn't protecting them from tobacco be a top priority?"
The American Lung Association of the Northeast envisions a world free of lung disease and helping people quit smoking and encouraging kids to never start is vital to seeing that vision become a reality.
To learn more about the Lung Association's programs to help adults quit smoking, visit Freedom From Smoking Online at ffsonline.org. To learn more about the Association's Not-On-Tobacco® (N-O-T) program , specifically designed for smokers aged 14 to 19 who want to quit, visit notontobacco.com
Concerned residents can also join the Lung Association, SHAC and TACFL by advocating for stronger tobacco control policies. To join the Lung Association in advocating for strong tobacco control policies at the federal, state and local level, sign up to become an e-advocate at LungNE.org. To learn more about SHAC and sign their e-petition to get tobacco out of community grocery stores, visit smokefreemonroe.com. To learn more about TACFL and to sign their petition to reduce tobacco marketing, visit smokefreefingerlakes.com.
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About the American Lung Association of the Northeast
The American Lung Association of the Northeast is part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease. The American Lung Association of the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT. www.lungNE.org
About the Smoking and Health Action Coalition of Monroe County
Smoking & Health Action Coalition (SHAC) is a Community Partnership of the New York State Tobacco Control Program funded through a grant to the American Lung Association of the Northeast. The Coalition's goals are to promote cessation from tobacco use, decrease the social acceptability of tobacco use, prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth and young adults and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Learn more about SHAC by visiting smokefreemonroe.com
About the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes
Tobacco Action of the Finger Lakes (TACFL) educates community leaders and the general public about the dangers and social costs of tobacco, engages local stakeholders to adopt policies that will restrict tobacco industry presence, denormalize tobacco use and eliminate secondhand smoke. TACFL is a Community Partnership of the New York State Tobacco Control Program funded through a grant to the American Lung Association of the Northeast. Learn more about TACFL by visiting smokefreefingerlakes.com