World No Tobacco Day: Kids who see tobacco marketing more likely to smoke, health officials say

TULSA - World No Tobacco Day is Friday, May 31 and the Tulsa County Tobacco Free Coalition is speaking out about tobacco marketing and kids.

"Tobacco use kills thousands of Oklahoma friends, family and neighbors each year, and the tobacco industry replaces them by marketing its products to adolescents, teens and young adults," said Paula Warlick, coalition chair. "Curbing our young ones' exposure to tobacco marketing in stores, in glamorized media depictions and elsewhere, can help break this pattern."

According to the Tulsa Health Department, kids who shop at stores with tobacco marketing at least twice a week are more than 60 percent more likely to start smoking than their peers.  The information comes from a study published in "Pediatrics," the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The "Pediatrics" study is just one linking tobacco advertising and marketing to tobacco use among children and teens, say health department officials, adding each year about 5,000 Oklahomans younger than 18 become daily smokers.

Approximately 6,200 adult Oklahomans die prematurely each year from smoking.

World No Tobacco Day is organized each year by the World Health Organization, which says tobacco use is responsible for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide.

Locally, the Tobacco Free Coalition is active in educating residents about the health dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, encouraging policies that promote clean air, supporting 24/7 tobacco-free schools and prohibiting youth access to tobacco.

To learn more about the effect of tobacco marketing on youths and what is being done locally and statewide to counteract the industry's influence, visit please visit www.stopswithme.com .

For more information about the Tobacco Free Coalition visit www.tulsa-health.org .


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