By Michael Henrich
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 21, 2014) -- A new campaign has launched this week using positive reinforcement to convince retailers to stop selling tobacco products.
The effort, part of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, published an online tool to help consumers find and shop at tobacco-free stores, rather than stores that continue to stock the products.
The effort's site applauds chains like Target and CVS for halting the sale of tobacco products, while providing links to send messages to retailers that have not made the same choice, including Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid.
More than 480,000 Americans are killed each year due to tobacco-related illnesses and more than $289 billion is spent on health care costs and lost productivity, according to the campaign. By making retailers tobacco-free, these advocates hope fewer kids are tempted to join the next generation of smokers.
Central Indiana shoppers who spoke with FOX59 had mixed feelings about the push.
“That’s tricky because people should do what they want to do," said consumer Angi Parks. Parks, for one, said she applauded CVS' decision to stop selling tobacco products earlier this year, "but I wouldn't be in favor of forcing someone to take it out of their place of business."