When we look around at our beautiful state and connected communities sometimes it is easy to imagine Vermont as apart from the advertising and promotion of BIG alcohol and tobacco companies that larger cities often see. Did you know the tobacco industry spends over $27 MILLION on tobacco advertising here in Vermont each year and that youth are 3 times as sensitive as adults to that advertising? In Vermont the majority of those advertising dollars go to “point of purchase” advertising that is most often seen in the small convenience stores where adults are stopping for their gas and morning coffee or our kids are stopping by after school to pick up a snack.
National studies have concluded that greater exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to an increase in drinking among underage youth. For each additional ad a young person sees (above the monthly youth average of 23), he or she drank 1% more. (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2006). A 2010 study found that 29% of youth who shop at convenience, liquor or small grocery stores at least twice a week began using tobacco at a substantially higher rate over their peers.
BPHC is working hard to support the small convenience stores that are vital parts of our neighborhoods to create a healthy atmosphere for the youth in our community to succeed. The Healthy Retailer Project is a statewide effort to raise awareness about the harmful effects of Big Alcohol and Tobacco companies. These companies strategically place their ads to be seen by the youth of the community without regard for our community values. The project encourages stores to address the placement, advertising and access to adult products and increase healthy food options and attention to the more nutritious items in the store.
Please stop by and thank the following Burlington retailers for making healthy changes in their stores:
- Waggy’s Store & Deli
Don’t see a store you frequent on this list? Talk to the store’s manager about becoming a part of BPHC’s Healthy Retailer Project today! For more information and resources about this statewide initiative, visit the Vermont Department of Health’s website or Contact us addressing your message to Mariah Sanderson, Coalition Director.