2018 Point-of-Sale Photo Contest Winners

Photo Contest

We asked our audience to submit photos showcasing tobacco industry marketing tactics and promotional strategies at the point of sale (POS), and we received nearly 60 great photos from 18 states and even as far away as Pakistan. Many thanks to everyone who entered! The entries cover a wide range of problems at the point of sale, and beyond just the contest, we hope these photos will be used to continue POS advocacy work. Below you can see the winners for each category. These photos are more are also available in our image gallery for your tobacco control advocacy needs.

Grand Prize Winner

“The game has changed” taken by Megan Tulikangas & Alexa Furek on July 8, 2018 in Carnegie, PA
The tobacco industry spent over 80% of their marketing dollars for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco on price discounts alone in 2016 – and their expenditures for coupons are on the rise. Mobile coupons are just the latest way tobacco companies are aiming to keep their products cheap – to make their products more accessible to price sensitive populations like youth and low-income individuals, to recruit new users, and to keep current users hooked. Also our winner for the “How Low Can You Go?” category, this photo showcases tobacco advertisements (including those for cheap, flavored tobacco products) right at kids’ eye level and right next to candy. 

Winners (and some honorable mentions) have also been chosen in the following categories of tobacco industry activities at the POS. Click on each or scroll down to see the winners!

View all entries here and in our media gallery of store images and maps.

Greatest Youth Appeal – Winner

“Mommy, I want the stuffed animals, the balloons, the hairbows, and the tobacco!”
taken on October 3, 2018 in Schenectady, NY


Most Ironic – Winner

“Ice cream, pigtails, and cigarettes: the perfect combination” taken by Glory Song on October 22, 2018 in Worcester, MA


Most Ironic- Honorable Mention

“Smoke to Live?!” taken by Betsy Jones on October 15, 2018 in San Antonio, TX
What a name…

Cheap & Steep

“Our best bargain for lung cancer” taken by Tatiana Byam on October 25, 2018 in Burlington, VT

Cheap & Steep: Honorable Mentions

Left:  “Also ask us about heart disease, COPD, and lung cancer!” taken by Ian Hamilton on October 18, 2018 in Columbia, SC. Note also the $1 trial offer for a myBlu starter kit 
Right: “Still think Juul isn’t marketing to kids? And you have enough money left over to buy an additional pod set.” Taken by Christine Habib on September 2, 2018 in Lake Worth, FL. Note also the “Spot You More” sticker below the ads – mobile coupons for Philip Morris cigarettes accepted there, too. 


The Crown “Juul” – Winner

“Reality in the Northwoods” Taken by Kristi Hanson on July 8, 2018 in Mondovi, WI
Showing just how ubiquitous and popular Juul has become. You’ll see Juul in many of our other winners, honorable mentions, and entries as well!


Flavor Craze – Winner

“More flavors than Baskin Robbins” Taken by Shelley Miller on October 11, 2018 in Waxahachie, TX

How Low Can You Go? – Honorable Mentions

Branded advertisements are everywhere in the retail environment – from doors and windows to the gas pump and other areas outside, and are often placed at children’s eye level.
Left: “easy purchase” taken on October 10, 2018 in Jupiter, FL Middle: “How Low? 4″ from Ground Level” taken by Noel Crowley-Bell on October 18, 2018 in Palmer, Alaska Right: “Lifetime addiction now $20 off!” taken by Michelle Larimore on October 17, 2018 in Elmira, NY

Stores Near Schools

“2 tobacco retailers 1 block from elementary school” taken by George Haws on November 2, 2018 in North Platte, NE

Power Wall

“Advertising Risk to Children” Taken by Leanna Overbeck on October 10, 2018 in Jupiter, FL


Tobacco Look-a-Likes – Winner

“Trick or Treat? Bubble Gum and Candy Cigarettes” Taken on July 17, 2016 in Schoharie, NY


Vape Shops: Winner

“Cheesin Vapes” Taken on October 11, 2018 in Muncie, IN

Bonus Category: International – Winner

“Taps” taken by Qamar Iqbal on September 12, 2018 in Islamabad, Pakistan
Point-of-sale display of tobacco products in Pakistan. Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) requires Parties to introduce a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) within five years of entry into force of the Convention 

In addition to winners and honorable mentions for all categories, you can find all photo contest submissions along with other captivating images of POS tobacco industry tactics in our image gallery.

Why Does CounterTobacco.Org Host an Annual Photo Contest?

The Surgeon General has concluded that “advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.” [1] The tobacco industry spends the majority of their marketing budget at the point of sale promoting its deadly products.[2] CounterTobacco.org is dedicated to providing tools and resources to counteract retail tobacco product sales and marketing. The photo contest and image gallery expose the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics in hopes of educating communities, and especially youth, about the dangers of tobacco retail marketing. Education and exposure of the industries’ tactics are critical to building awareness and serve as a first step in the policy change process. These photos offer tobacco control advocates a powerful tool to show what is happening at the point of sale.

With the tobacco industry wielding its influence and dollars at the point of sale, policy changes at the federal, state, and local levels are critical. Learn more about counteracting retail tobacco products sale and marketing.

CounterTobacco.org is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
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