Stores celebrated for not promoting tobacco
WINDHAM COUNTY - According to the Centers for Disease Control and CounterBalanceVT.org, tobacco companies in America spent $15 million in Vermont last year. Most of that marketing budget was spent placing ads in the stores where their products are sold. The tobacco companies often use tactics such as placing advertisements where children can see them to target youth.
To celebrate local stores that have reduced advertising in 2022, three nonprofits in Windham County - Building A Positive Community, West River Valley Thrives, and Greater Falls Connections - have completed the 2022 “Star Store Program.” This program recognizes retailers for protecting the youth in the community, either by not selling tobacco or by not putting up tobacco ads where children are likely to see them.
Recently the two groups completed 66 store assessments in the towns and villages of Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Dummerston, Grafton, Guilford, Jamaica, Newfane, Putney, Rockingham, Townshend, Wardsboro, and Westminster. These assessments looked at both tobacco and alcohol marketing in stores.
Forty-eight retailers in these towns were provided Star Store window clings to promote their business as helping to reduce youth’s exposure to tobacco or alcohol products and marketing, which has shown to have a strong influence on underage use of tobacco and alcohol.
The substance misuse prevention organizations recognized the following 23 stores with a gold star for not selling and not advertising tobacco products: Aldi, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Dollar Tree, Grafton Cheese, Greater Falls Pharmacy, Green Mountain Wine, Halladay’s Flowers & Gifts, Hannaford’s, Harlows Farmstands, Hotel Pharmacy, Kampfires, KOA, Little Lisai’s Corner Deli, Lisai’s Market, Price Chopper/Market 32, Putney General Store, Putney Food Co-op, Vermont Country Deli, Vermont Country Store, Walker’s Farmstand, and West Townshend Country Store.
There were 42 stores throughout the area receiving either silver or gold stars. A silver star lets customers know that the store does not have any advertising for either tobacco or alcohol. A bronze star shows that the retailer does not have any outdoor advertising for either tobacco or alcohol.
Stores that are interested in learning more about how to qualify for a star store certificate can contact Rolf Parker-Houghton at (802) 505-7653.