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How tobacco and alcohol are marketed to kids

Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community

The smoking of electronic cigarettes will soon be banned in many public areas throughout Santa Maria and Los Angeles after city council votes in both cities on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, health leaders in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to bring attention to the way e-cigarettes, tobacco, and alcohol products are marketed to children.

A new statewide survey of retail stores—including many along the Central Coast—looked at how these products are aimed at kids. The numbers show that in San Luis Obispo County e-cigarette marketing is significantly higher than the state average.

"All of the major tobacco companies now have their own e-cigarette companies," said Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Kitty Farhar. "They know these products appeal to kids, they're new technology and they come in many kid-appealing flavors like cotton candy and tutti fruity."

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says two thirds of stores that offer tobacco are located within a thousand feet of a school.

A complete list of county-by-county findings are located on the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community website.

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