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Various areas of life are relevant to children and young people. These areas of life underpin the activities and services of Free. Fair. Future. in five areas of action.
In Switzerland there are many places where there’s no smoking ban or where the ban isn’t consistently enforced. “Children, especially small children, are in particular danger from passive smoking. In children, secondhand smoke additionally slows lung growth and makes asthma, respiratory diseases such as pneumonia or cough and middle ear disease more likely. It also increases the risk of sudden infant death,” explains the FOPH.
According to the Le tabagisme chez les 15 à 25 ans en 2016 study from Sucht Schweiz/Addiction Suisse, more than 15% of 15- to 17-year-olds and around 40% of 15 to 25-year-olds have received promotional giveaways from the tobacco industry. The “Children without Tobacco” initiative also draws attention to this fact in its arguments.
In more than one-third of retail outlets in Switzerland, tobacco products and/or tobacco advertising are placed next to sweets or at children’s eye level (1.20 m). This is a finding of the study L’Observatoire – Projekt zur Beobachtung der Marketingstrategien für Tabakprodukte. The placement of these products is thus specifically designed to attract the attention of children and young people and appear harmless.
Adolescents are exposed to tobacco-friendly stimuli a total of 68 times during a weekend day of usual activities and an evening out (source). Online, they come into contact with tobacco advertising on websites (source) and on social media, among other things. L’Observatoire – Projekt zur Beobachtung der Marketingstrategien für Tabakprodukte also ascertains the following: “In the social networks, internet users virtually act as mouthpieces for cigarette brands: They post messages related to advertising campaigns, create Facebook pages with the brand’s logo or upload videos to YouTube promoting smoking in general or a specific brand of cigarettes.”
The L’Observatoire – Projekt zur Beobachtung der Marketingstrategien für Tabakprodukte project recorded 22 official websites located in Switzerland. “More than half of them are accessible to minors. A wealth of product and brand-related information is available on these sites. It’s also possible to buy discounted products, get free packs of cigarettes or event tickets, or even take part in competitions with attractive prizes.” The Bern-Solothurn-Fribourg Blue Cross regularly does test purchasing for tobacco and alcohol products. In the last test purchases at the end of November 2020, seven out of ten companies delivered alcohol and/or tobacco to minors’ homes without any problems.