Issue: Health: Tobacco Products
One of the most significant public health concerns in the United States is the ongoing availability of cigarettes and other tobacco products to the public. The harm to individuals, which develops over time, includes the causation of a variety of cancers, heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, etc. All of this is substantiated. As individuals and families, most of us have or will suffer an emotional cost. In addition, we all pay in one or more ways; from our personal and family budgets, time away from family and employment, and in terms of insurance coverage and the medical expense to our country. Without banning tobacco, we can and must find ways to reduce its consumption.
One of the issues related to the sale of tobacco products is that they can be sold at the same point of sale as food, candy, home health products, etc., products perceived as "safe" by children. Whether or not a child is accompanying a family member or near another person purchasing hazardous tobacco products, the purchase of these products is taking place in front of the child. It is proposed that, without restricting the sale of harmful tobacco products to those allowed to purchase them, a separate section must be set aside in stores for the sale of the tobacco products. This closed-off section would have its own cash register (manned or unmanned), and would be designed so that children anywhere in the store could not see the purchase being made. In addition, the only signage allowed would be that which directs the purchaser to the designated location; tobacco product advertising would only be allowed inside of the sales area.