April 22, 2021
SOLANO COUNTY – Today, state and county researchers released a report featuring findings from a survey conducted at Solano County’s tobacco retailers. The study reveals the tobacco industry has ratcheted up their marketing, pushing more flavored and menthol products that pose a threat to young people and vulnerable communities.
Solano County topped the list for menthol cigarette sales among California counties, with over 96 percent of retailers stocking mentholated products, compared to 88 percent statewide and only 17 percent in San Francisco, where menthol is highly regulated.
“Solano County—one of the most diverse counties in the country—has become a leading target of the Tobacco Industry,” says Kirbee Brooks, MPH, CHES, Solano County’s Tobacco Prevention Project Coordinator. “Big Tobacco aggressively promotes menthol cigarettes, particularly among communities of color and the young. Mentholated tobacco products are typically aimed at people of color and our youth because menthol temporarily masks the harshness of tobacco smoke, making it easier for new users to get hooked.”
This is particularly clear when one examines the study’s marketing data. Nearly 40 percent of retailers market tobacco in kid-friendly locations, and even more—nearly 80 percent—display unhealthy storefront ads. All told, every Solano County tobacco indicator was higher than the statewide average.
This data comes from the third Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community survey,…