Tobacco Marketing

Tobacco Marketing PROMOTES smoking among youth

Is there anything tobacco companies wouldn’t do to get tobacco in front of our youth? Tobacco companies spend billions on marketing in stores where youth can see it. The more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke!

  • The average age of a new smoker is 13
  • The U.S. Surgeon General calls smoking a “pediatric epidemic”
  • Stores popular among youth contain 3 times more tobacco marketing than other stores in the same community
  • Tobacco marketing is recruiting youth to become REPLACEMENT smokers
  • In NYS, tobacco companies spend over half a million dollars a day on tobacco marketing
  • In NYS, there is 1 licensed tobacco retailer for every 194 children
  • 90% of adult smokers say they first tried smoking before age 18

Tobacco Retail Observations

Town of Oneonta, Village of Sharon Springs, and Village of Delhi
February-April, 2019

Town of Oneonta (Otsego County)

  • Exterior Ads:  All retailers except Hannaford Grocery Store and Walmart had exterior ads.  Most ads were at children’s eye level.  The Smokers Choice had the largest number of exterior ads at 11.
  • Cheap cigarettes:  There was a range in price from $8.42 at one of the Mirabito’s to $9.69 at Hannaford.
  • Newports:  Ranged in price from $10.10 at Walmart to $12.72 at Three of the Mirabito Convenient Stores.
  • Interior Ads:  All had ads inside but two had 1 ad.  Hannaford was the only one without an ad at children’s eye level.  Speedway had 14 ads inside the retail space.
  • Interior Product Display:  Juul front and center at most convenient store locations. Two of the Mirabito Convenient stores still sell fruity Juul pods in addition to the new “off market” flavored pods.  In regards to product displays in the retailers, most received 3’s and 2’s on the grid and only one received a 1.
  • The following information combines data from last year’s City of Oneonta information and the town of Oneonta that was done this spring.
  • There are 20,047 residents (as of 2017) in the greater Oneonta area.  1,393 of them between the ages of 5 and 19 and attend Oneonta School District. That is one tobacco retailer for every 81.9 children in the school.


Village of Sharon Springs (Schoharie County)

  • Exterior Ads:  Of the three tobacco retailers in the village, only one had external ads for regular tobacco (combustible or smokeless) and one ad for Juul.
  • Cheap cigarettes: The cheapest cigarettes were at the Log House at $7.12 and the most expensive were at Dollar General $8.47.
  • Newports:  the range went from $10.27 at Stewarts and Log House to $10.67 at Dollar General .
  • Interior Ads:  Stewarts had the most at 13 and Log House only had 1.  Dollar General had some brands of e-cigarettes marked clearance at 50% off.
  • Two of the three stores are chain stores.
  • Product Displays: received coding of 3(one of them) and 2(the other two).  Colorful products at Stewarts, large display cases at the checkout at Log House.
  • Key information: The Stewarts is within 1000 feet of the school.
  • Sharon Springs has 472 residents (as of 2017).  220 students ages 5-19 attend school in Sharon Springs.  There is one tobacco retailer for every 33.33 youth in the village.


Village of Delhi (Delaware County)

  • Exterior Ads:  Rite Aid and Price Chopper had none.  Smokers Choice had 7, Country Store had 3 and Speedway had 1.
  • Cheap Cigarettes: Cheapest were at Mirabito at $7.25 and on the high end was Price Chopper at $9.44
  • Newports:  Price Chopper had none. Speedway had them for $9.54 and at the highest was Mirabito  at $10.75
  • Interior Ads:  Price Chopper had none. Smokers Choice had 39, Country Store had 9, MIrabito had 8, Family Dollar had 6, and Rite Aid had 5.
  • Interior Displays:  Coding had mostly 3’s and 2’s with only one 1.  At Rite Aid, most of the power wall was obscured by a shelving unit blocking the view of most of the tobacco products.  Price Chopper had no display at all, we had to ask at Customer Service where tobacco products were stored in a wooden cabinet with no signage.
  • Key information: at the Smokers Choice, they had a lounge area and ash trays all over the inside of the store so people could smoke in the store.
  • The Village of Delhi has 3,074 residents (as of 2017). 961 students ages 5-19 attend school in Delhi.  There is one tobacco retailer for every 30 students in the village.

Tobacco Retail Observations – 2018

During June 2018, ATFC-DOS staff and Reality Check youth completed 41 tobacco retail observations.

  • A young person in the Village of Sidney, the Village of Cobleskill and the City of Oneonta is more likely to come across a store that sells tobacco than a library or a recreation area.
  • Communities overrun with tobacco products and tobacco marketing make it easier for young people to start smoking and harder for current smokers to quit.
  • When tobacco is more available and visible in a community, the people who live there are more likely to smoke and more likely to experience tobacco-related illness and disease. (Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2012)
  • The NYS adult smoking rate is 14.2%.

Village of Sidney (Delaware County) – 10 tobacco retailers

  • There is one tobacco retailer for every 37.7 youth in the Village of Sidney. In the Village of Sidney, there are 3,900 residents. 377 of them are between the ages of 5 and 19.
  • The adult smoking rate for Delaware County is 23.4 %.

City of Oneonta (Otsego County) – 19 tobacco retailers

  • There is one tobacco retailer for every 33 youth in the City of Oneonta. In the City of Oneonta, there are 13,901 residents. 629 are between the ages of 5 and 19.
  • The adult smoking rate for Otsego County is 19.7%.

Village of Cobleskill (Schoharie County) – 12 tobacco retailers

  • There is one tobacco retailer for every 25.25 youth in the Village of Cobleskill. In the Village of Cobleskill, there are 4,678 residents. 303 of them are between the ages of 5 and 19.
  • The adult smoking rate for Schoharie County is 18.1 %.