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Lethal Lure Campaign Launched

Updated: 05/05/2014 3:03 PM
Created: 05/05/2014 2:59 PM WDIO.com

Just in time for the Minnesota fishing opener weekend, the American Lung Association has launched the "Lethal Lure Campaign," targeted at tobacco prevention and policy initiatives focused around the point of sale in Northeast Minnesota.

Over the past 12 months the American Lung Association in MN, in partnership with Iron Range Youth in Action and other regional youth and young adults, conducted 279 store audits in convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and other locations with tobacco licenses across the 7 county Arrowhead Region.

Staff and volunteers counted the number of tobacco advertisements inside and outside the store, looked for specific types of tobacco products being sold, checked for price discounts and promotions as well as product placement - all as part of the store audits.  

"Smoking is still a problem at my school," said Jenna Kingsley, who worked on the effort. She's a senior at Virginia High School. "The things the kids smoke are cheap and flavored. I want to help stop this."

Additional information was gathered from regional cities and counties, such as number of tobacco licenses, license fees, fine structures for selling to minors, etc.  A regional map was also created, offering a visual of how and where tobacco is sold in NE MN, retailers with failed compliance checks and retailer proximity to youth-related facilities like schools, parks and playgrounds.   

The Lung Association has developed an educational toolkit for regional decision makers.  This resource will serve as a tool to educate not only decision makers about the public health concerns and policy options related to tobacco prevention initiatives at the point of sale, but can also be used to educate youth and public health advocates statewide.  

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