Local students who are dedicated to staying smoke free are learning more about tobacco marketing.
Members of Broome County Reality Check teamed up with Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie to canvass local convenience stores to find obvious and subtle methods of tobacco advertising.
We caught up with the group at their first stop, the Harash Stop and Shop located at 14 Main Street in JC.
They took notes on advertising techniques along with cigarette prices and placement.
Reality Check Youth Advocate Jacob Brady says more and more ads seem to be popping up.
“It’s important because so many lives are affected directly and indirectly as a result of tobacco advertising. It’s becoming a real problem in our society,” said Brady.
A number of local convenience stores in our area were recently busted for selling untaxed Indian Reservation cigarettes along with “loosies,” which are cigarettes that are sold individually out of a pack.
Deemie says the canvassing lets store owners know they are being watched.
“It makes them aware that we’re aware that there is an issue and a problem. We’re not going to tolerate it. I don’t agree with it and it’s an illegal practice and it needs to be looked at,” said Deemie.
Brady says some advertising techniques are blatant, like large-scale window sized displays, while others are more subtle with small posters being placed near candy and energy drink shelves, which appeal to young people.
Reality Check is part of Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga which is run through the County Health Department.