News and Events

Counteracting Tobacco Marketing at Retailers in Okeechobee County
September 17, 2018

Over the past three years, volunteers and task force members in Okeechobee have been working on a pilot project in Okeechobee County with Counter Tools, an organization that provides technology tools, training, and technical assistance to public health practitioners and researchers who are working to enact and enforce policy, systems and environmental interventions to promote public health.

Task Force members have been working hard to assessing over 70 retailers in Okeechobee County, studying things like how they price tobacco products, where they are placed, and even access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  This past year, they worked with stores that have adopted an AVC (Assurances of Voluntary Compliance) agreement with the state to adhere to higher standards when it comes to tobacco marketing towards youth at the point of sale.

What did they discover?

Over the course of the store assessments, the Okeechobee County Point of Sale Task Force had many findings of interest relating to how tobacco products are marketed and sold in our community.

The Okeechobee County Point of Sale Task Force will continue efforts this year to monitor AVC retailers in the community, revisiting those surveyed last year and helping to educate retailers on the details of their AVC agreements.

Youth access to tobacco products and advertisements targeting youth remain one of the primary concerns of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee County.  Each year, tobacco companies spend over $11 billion a year to market their products, which represents $8,500 spent to recruit each of the new 1.3 million teenage smokers each year.  85% of those advertising dollars are spent directly at retail outlets.

To learn more about the Tobacco Free Partnership’s efforts to counteract tobacco marketing at retail outlets and the work of the Point of Sale Task Force, visit: www.TFP-Okeechobee.org.