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Published on December 13th, 2018 | by Burlington Partnership

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#ISpyALie Photo Contest

The tobacco industry spends nearly $1 million per hour to market their products. Exposure to retail marketing and other advertising encourages smoking and undermines quit attempts. This is happening nationwide, including right here in Burlington! Did you know there are 22 tobacco retailers within a half mile of Edmunds Middle School? This is a problem for our community because schools with a high number of tobacco retailers within walking distance of a school have a higher prevalence of youth smokers.

The tobacco industry isn’t the only industry advertising near schools and other places that attract youth. Alcohol companies use the same tactics. The tobacco and alcohol industries also pay for product placement in movies and shows teens and children watch. Online, especially on social media, teens are exposed to advertising for tobacco products like Juul as well as alcohol and marijuana products.

Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community is challenging you to keep an eye out for tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana advertising in our community. Send us photos of what you see, along with your name, where you took the photo, and what inspired you to take the picture. Not a photographer? Draw a picture, write a song or poem, or create something else to share your thoughts about advertising in Burlington. Selected photos will be displayed at our Roots of Prevention Arts & Awards Celebration on May 8th from 5:30-8pm at the Contois Auditorium in Burlington’s City Hall.

Enter your photo using our online submission form.

$100 Visa gift card for the Grand Prize winner! Everyone who submits a photo and attends the Award Celebration will receive BPHC swag.

2019 Contest Categories

  • Greatest Youth Appeal: Did you see an ad near candy, ice cream, or some other kid-friendly item? Spot an ad near a child-friendly mascot or toy? Send us the picture!
  • Bargain Hunters: We want to see the cheapest advertised prices or biggest discounts on tobacco and alcohol. Channel your inner coupon warrior and send us the best you can find!
  • Flavor Craze: Tobacco products, vapes, and alcohol come in all sorts of candy, fruit, and other sweet flavors that appeal to youth. What flavors can you find?
  • How Low Can You Go?: In stores, advertisements for tobacco and alcohol are often placed low to the ground, at child eye level. Send us what you find in places kids are most likely to see them!
  • Look-A-Likes: Some candy and other products are designed to look like tobacco or alcohol. Examples include candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars or jerky “chew.” On the other hand, alcohol companies are adding alcohol to kid-friendly things like soda and tonic water, and marijuana is often found in chocolate, gummy bears, and other kid-friendly snacks. Send us photos of these products twinning!
  • The Crown Juul: Juul and other vapes are the new way to use tobacco, and their use among youth is particularly alarming. Show us how Juul and other vapes are being marketed in your area!
  • Online: Social media marketing is an easy way for companies to inexpensively target advertising to a specific group of people. Screenshot ads you see for tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana products as you scroll through your social media feeds or while you’re watching online videos. Don’t forget to tell us which platform you were using!
  • Healthy Vision: What does a healthier community look like to you? Show us what you’d like to see in Burlington and beyond!

Need inspiration to get started? Consider doing a deeper dive using our Community Scan Tool!


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