Last summer, the Health Department, in partnership with Upstream Public Health and the Oregon Health Equity Alliance studied 411 retail stores in Multnomah County that sell tobacco. The study was an effort to better understand the local tobacco retail environment.
A new report, The Selling of Tobacco in Multnomah County, highlights the availability of tobacco and e-cigarette products and advertising in stores throughout the county.
Products Placed to Lure Youth
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Multnomah County and the nation. In recent years, the bulk of tobacco industry advertising and promotion has been happening in retail stores where many people shop, including young people.
The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars to influence the behavior of shoppers. Distributors pay some stores to display tobacco advertising, often dictating where the advertisements are placed. Inside the stores, 18% displayed tobacco within 12 inches of products sold to youth (toys, candy, slushy/soda machine, or ice cream).
Slick marketing and advertising where people shop encourages them to start smoking, promotes daily use of tobacco, and discourages quitting.
Report findings will be used to inform policy changes designed to reduce tobacco and nicotine use and exposure.