Tobacco Displays Need a Cover-Up Article
I applaud New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his proposal to keep cigarettes out of sight in stores ("Plan would hide tobacco products," March 19). Every day, the tobacco industry spends millions to normalize their products through marketing, and it has worked. Cigarettes are sold just about everywhere undefined grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and even in pharmacies.
Thankfully, many grocery stores in the Capital Region have voluntarily covered up their tobacco displays, but that is not the case with chain pharmacies. The wall of tobacco products behind the checkout counter is displayed prominently right next to the "Stop Smoking Center." Does that make any sense?
To say that tobacco should not be covered up because "tobacco's been normal for centuries," as one smokers' rights group person said, exactly illustrates the problem.
A product that kills half its users when used as directed should not be viewed as a normal product, not to mention one blatantly sold by retail stores frequented by children and in pharmacies that dispense medications to improve health.
It's time for not just New York City but Albany to step up and address the problem of tobacco marketing; it's hindering smokers who want to quit and enticing youth to become the tobacco industry's "replacement smokers."
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