New Paper and Video on Conducting Store Observations of Tobacco Marketing and Products

Store Assessments

Store observations, also called store assessments or store audits, are a way to collect data about what is happening at stores in your community. You can then use this information to educate the public, policymakers, and youth about the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing tactics. Knowing what’s happening is critical to awareness and advocacy efforts, as the tobacco industry now spends over $1 million dollars an hour and over 90% of its marketing expenditures in the retail setting.

A new paper published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease details the steps involved in conducting store observations of tobacco marketing and products, highlights issues that may arise in the field, provides information on disseminating the results of store observations, and provides information on potential policy solutions.

As detailed in the article, steps involved in store observation include:

  1. Obtaining tobacco product retailer lists
  2. Creating measures
  3. Selecting a mode of data collection (learn more about store observation tools, such as STARS here)
  4. Training data collectors
  5. Analyzing data

The full article is available publicly here.

As part of the ASPiRE study (Advancing Science and Policy in the Retail Environment) and the State and Community Tobacco Control Initiative, also created a video on Conducting Store Observations for Tobacco Control.


Feld AL, Johnson TO, Byerly KW, Ribisl KM. How to Conduct Store Observations of Tobacco Marketing and Products. Prev Chronic Dis 2016;13:150504. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd13.150504.