News and Events

Point of Sale Assessments Come to DeSoto County
August 23, 2016

After attending a very informative, two-day training on Point-of-Sale hosted by Counter Tools and the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Jodie DeLoach presented partnership members with a “Why POS matters” presentation. 

Partners were informed on Big Tobacco’s deceptive marketing and advertising techniques to better appeal to youth, non-smokers and even smokers who are trying to quit. Advertisements are plastered on gas pumps, parking lots, and inside stores everywhere. In fact, the tobacco industry spends one million dollars per hour and $8.7 billion dollars a year on tobacco advertising. Tobacco retailers cluster in already disadvantaged neighborhoods, they prompt kids to start smoking, make it harder for people to quit, and distract people from a healthier way of living.

The first Tobacco Free Partnership meeting of the new 2016-2017 fiscal year was held at DeSoto Memorial Hospital on August 23, 2016. While updates and floor items were discussed, the bulk of this meeting served as an open discussion on how point of sale matters to all members of our community and how we can unite and take a stand against these marketers. “Getting our community involved in these audits is crucial. These marketing tactics performed by Big Tobacco are targeted to our youth. If we can put a stop to these advertisements, we have a higher chance of creating a future tobacco free generation,” said Jodie DeLoach.

In an effort to move towards policy change within our retail industry, the TFP will be conducting store audits on 33 tobacco retail outlets in DeSoto County. The results of this audit will be added to a mapper tool that we can utilize to show the density of retailers, the distance the retailer is in relation to schools, compliance check data, and much more. This will certainly be useful data when trying to assist with policy change efforts in our community.

 ”We have our work cut out for us over the next few months with store audits, but I am really looking forward to sharing this experience with our community members, the data we will gather, and the impact this will have on point-of-sale initiatives in DeSoto County,” said Jodie DeLoach.

Members brought up very valuable questions during the meeting, and every member in attendance signed up to assist in completing these audits.  Our partnership is excited to gain this data and implement change within our community. If you are interested in working on point-of-sale initiatives within our local community, please feel free to contact for more information.