The CounterBalance Campaign is a national youth-led initiative spearheaded by Y Street, Virginia's statewide youth movement, to help prevent underage tobacco use by countering tobacco ads in places where tobacco is sold. We recently conducted hundreds of store assessments, and we were shocked by what we found.
When youth buy products in one of these stores, they are surrounded by tobacco advertisements -- some placed at the eye-level of a 10-year-old. When they go to check out, they are forced to stare at a backdrop of tobacco products.
Research proves that the more often kids are exposed to tobacco ads, the more likely they are to start smoking. In fact, 33% of kids who tried smoking did it because they were directly influenced by tobacco ads.
Stores like 7-Eleven, Shell, RiteAid, Wawa, and Sheetz can help change this by placing a tobacco awareness sign at their checkout counters! Not only will this send a positive message to customers, it will also help current tobacco users quit.