As members of the Jacob A. Riis Teen Academy, we learned that 6,000 of our peers in Queens are currently smoking. We are writing you today because the tobacco marketing and product displays that target kids play a big role in their decision to smoke. Tobacco marketing persuades youth to start smoking, and 88 percent of smokers start before the age of 18. The tobacco industry is spending millions of dollars each year on tobacco marketing.
Mayor Bloomberg is right to try to do something about these product displays and marketing being displayed in stores close to schools. In some stores tobacco products are placed right next to candy to get younger people to notice them. These youth are risking their lives, and they are not even fully grown. One-third of them will die prematurely as a direct result of smoking.