Adults underestimate tobacco advertising in local stores, survey says

NORWICH – An informal survey conducted in Chenango County recently found that adults significantly underestimate the extent of tobacco product advertising in stores that sell cigarettes, while strongly believing that such advertising influences children to smoke.

As part of the annual Kick Butts Day, this year held on March 23, the survey was conducted by Chenango Health Network’s Tobacco Free Chenango program to see if local consumers are aware of the targeted marketing and it’s impressions on youth. Respondents who were local employers were contacted by e-mail between February 28 and March 9 2011.

While not a statistically valid sample, the findings are believed to generally reflect knowledge and attitudes in the community as a whole. Full results of the five question survey are attached.

The survey found:

• 85 percent of people surveyed said that when they visit a convenience store, supermarket or gas station, they observe 10 or fewer cigarette ads. In fact, a statewide study conducted for the New York State Department of Health in 2007 found an average of 18 ads per store.

• 65 percent of people surveyed believed tobacco advertising influences children “somewhat” or “a lot.” Only 31 percent thought tobacco advertising had little or no effect on children.

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