Tobacco companies often sponsor community events to try to gain a positive reputation, but their ultimate goal is to hook new smokers and keep their current customers by giving away products or coupons. Visit the Sponsorship section to learn more about their sponsorship and sampling activities at local and national events.
- If you visit a bar with tobacco industry promotional materials or samples:
- Tell us what you saw – send a message with the date, place, time and what you witnessed.
- Don’t allow tobacco industry representatives to swipe your ID because they will add you to their mailing lists.
- Tell management why you disagree with such practices.
- Be aware of what your children are exposed to when they attend sporting or community events, and avoid those that include tobacco company involvement.
- Steer clear of booths or tents where tobacco products are promoted.
- Be mindful of tobacco company sponsorships your children may see during a televised sporting event.
- Raise public awareness by writing to your local newspaper when you notice a tobacco-sponsored event in your community.
- Contact your local and state legislators to express your concern and raise awareness that this is negatively affecting the community they represent.
In 2006 alone, the tobacco industry gave away 7.2 billion cigarette samples and spent over $12 billion on advertising and promotional activities.1