A alarming trend on the sales of unhealthy products to young people are on the rise.
California did a year long scientific study looking at over 7,000 stores across the state --200 in Santa Barbara--to see what kind of marketing techniques were used in stores to influence young people.
"In Santa Barbara County that increase was 68% which is statically higher than our region and really an alarming high rate," said Dawn Dunn, Tobacco Prevention with Santa Barbara County Public Health.
The price for flavored tobacco in many cases is cheaper than a candy bar making it easy for kids to purchase. Online sales, and asking older friends to buy for them is also making it more accessible for kids.
"One concerning trend that we are seeing is E-Cigarettes are being targeted to children with new flavors that are gummy flavor candy flavored and even their favorite breakfast cereal," said Dr. Charity Dean, Santa Barbara Public Health. "That is concerning to us because we are watching the rates increase and we know that smoking E-Cigs are a gateway of smoking cigarettes.
Along with the tobacco increase, alcohol, and unhealthy food sales are also on the rise. The only increased sales health officials are happy about is condoms.
"What we found in Santa Barbara is that in our stores 60% of our condoms are unlocked and available to purchase off the shelf," said Dean. "Studies have shown that teenagers and youth are less likely to purchase condoms if they have to ask a store clerk to unlock the condoms."
Health experts want to work with the stores that sell to young people hoping to help find healthier retail option.