While other organizations have been created to educate smokers about the danger of this highly addictive habit, the members of C.O.S.T., or Children Opposed to Smoking Tobacco, have made their specific goal the prevention of smoking by children. This group has been in existence for five years with many positive results.
The C.O.S.T. organization has made it their goal to provide accurate information to children about the dangers of smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. As it can sometimes be confusing to wade through all of the real and false information available from several sources, the group decided to create an online database of independent studies about tobacco use. By using only independent studies, the organization can make sure that they are not being supported by tobacco producers.
Specifically, the Children Opposed to Smoking Tobacco group would like to educate children about the ways that the tobacco companies try to entice them to start smoking. There are many tricks of the trade that have become common practice and it is important for the children to realize the marketing aim of the companies. One such trick is to pay shop owners to place tobacco related products at the checkout counter. This high visibility area ensures that all customers, including children, see the cigarettes and other products. In addition, a tobacco company may pay actors or film companies to include smoking in their movies. This adds glamor to the habit of smoking and many children would like to imitate their favorite stars. The work done by C.O.S.T. has helped to change some of the specific aspects of tobacco marketing. One of the greatest results was seen when tobacco companies were no longer allowed to use cartoon characters as part of their promotional materials.