Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Youth Coalition Asks Stores To Remove Tobacco Ads

The Boston Area Youth Tobacco Action Group, a coalition of about 170 teenagers, is asking Boston-area convenience store owners to take down tobacco ads in their stores. So far, nine storeowners have taken down their signs, and a handful of other owners have agreed to comply.

"The 10-, 11-year-olds are smoking. [I did this] to help so that the children do not smoke so early," said Nery Lanzas, a storeowner.

A recent study by the state Department of Health found that stores within 1,000 feet of schools display more tobacco ads than those further away. Brendan McCormick, a spokesperson for Philip Morris, said the ads are not intended for children, "Our advertising serves to enhance brand awareness, recognition, and loyalty among adult smokers. We're working aggressively to prevent youth access."

In January, the attorney general's office issued regulations that would have banned tobacco ads on the exterior of stores within 1,000 feet of playgrounds and schools. The regulations were scheduled to go into effect this month, but the tobacco industry challenged the regulations in court, saying the stores didn't have enough time to comply. Attorney General Thomas Reilly says the regulations should go into effect in February 2000.

The Boston Globe, (8/26/99) "Kicking the ad habit / Youthful coalition asks store owners to remove sign touting tobacco", Sara Neufeld, Globe Correspondent
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