August 26th, 2013

Study faults corner store cigarette ads

By Bob Warner
Philadelphia Inquirer

No matter what else is sold at Philadelphia’s corner stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, if they’re licensed to sell tobacco, the main message on signs outside those stores is this: Buy cigarettes. So says a new study that finds the prevalence of those stores, and that message, in low-income areas helps the tobacco industry reach children in those neighborhoods long before they’re old enough to legally buy its products.

The study, being released Monday by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and the city Department of Public Health, also found the stores where tobacco marketing is heaviest tend to advertise and display sugary beverages, candy, and chips - while healthier alternatives such as water, diet soda, and low-fat milk are rarely advertised, if at all.

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