Macleans published two letters to the editor in their last issue issue commenting on an earlier article in the magazine on Tobacco regulations, a subject we have posted on a number of times in the past. Here is the first letter:
I work with a marketing company who did extensive surveys with kids and adults in Ontario before “powerwalls” of tobacco products were banned (Store refuses to cover up tobacco wall,” National, Aug. 24) Non-smoking tweens and teens from non-smoking households are able to spontaneously name up to seven brands of cigarettes. These same kids visit convenience stores once or twice weekly. With tobacco advertising having been largely banned, convenience stores are the major promotional and distribution point for tobacco. Showing tobacco products to kids in their corner store makes tobacco appear “normal”; showing tobacco products to former smokers is a huge temptation. Governments globally are working to reduce tobacco use, and an “out of sight, out of mind” approach in retail outlets is a valuable and viable tool Gray Hammond, consultant, BRANDwright
Oshawa, Ont. [underlining ours]
Isn’t that interesting? The man [we presume Gray is a man but maybe not] doesn’t even realise what he is saying. He says that NON-SMOKING TEENS from NON SMOKING households can name up to seven brands of cigarettes. What does that tell you? That tells US that seeing these brands at their frequent trips to the convenience store, has NOT INFLUENCED THEM TO SMOKE!
Can’t ignore the second letter since it is from one of our readers. Love the first line!
YOU IDIOTS. You write that Maders Tobacco is in Kensington N.S. but there is no Kensington in Nova Scotia. Kensington is in P.E.I. Maders Tobacco store has been in Kentville, N.S., for as long as I can remember. By the way, if cigarettes and other tobaccos are legal products why should they be covered up in a tobacco store? That is ridiculous. If people want to smoke they are going to smoke. Covering up the brands is stupid. But it is hard to fight stupid. There is so much of it around. It was so hot in Kentville today that it reminded me of the Second World War when we would see the soldiers from Aldershot marching in step around town with those big noisy boots and the heavy wool uniforms, all spit and polish and pride. Those were the days of pride parades where you would not have to dress up like a like a rainbow but as someone who was willing to make sacrifices for their country. And if you think those uniforms weren’t hot and itchy, you don’t know much about your ancestors’ sacrifices. Wimps, all of you. Cigarettes were sent to the boys free in those days.
Betty Morgan, Port Williams, NS
Thanks Betty, for telling them what’s what.
These letters are getting some play elsewhere as well. Take a peek at The Right Coast where the letters are scanned [you can tell us if we have mistakes in our transcription!] and there are links to further comment on the subject.