Over the past few months, Southside Behavioral Health’s prevention team has visited 166 tobacco retailers and conducted counter tool assessments for 136 of those stores in Halifax, Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties.
This initiative is part of Southside Behavioral Health’s overall commitment to improving community health outcomes within local communities.
“This is just one of the many ways we are reaching out to our local communities for their input,” said Chief Prevention Officer Kenan Tyner-Smith. “We are thrilled that so many local retailers see the value in our mission and have agreed to partner with us to improve the health of our communities by banning the sale of nicotine products to underage youth.”
The results of these retailer assessments help inform and develop prevention strategies that improve mental well-being and educate community members about the impacts of nicotine and other substance use.
These ratings are also sparking conversations with retailers about the importance of verifying the identity of nicotine buyers and avoiding product placement targeting youth.
Additionally, they ensure retailer employees are trained to detect fake IDs and better understand how their support of these initiatives affects community outcomes.
Working with retailers in our local communities, Southside Behavioral Health was able to distribute informational posters and other materials explaining how to spot fake IDs and deter the sale of nicotine products to underage youth.
“We would like to say ‘Thank you’ to all of the retailers who participated in this review process and to those who signed our pledge to reduce access to nicotine products for underage youth,” Tyner-Smith said. . “Community support from retailers is a critical part of preventing nicotine use among our youth.”