April 2018 News and Research Roundup

Advertising Restictions, Cigarettes, Disparities, Displays/Display Ban, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Non-Tax Price Increases, Pharmacies, Price Promotions, Product Availability, Retailer Density, Tobacco21, Youth

Welcome to CounterTobacco.org’s “News and Research Roundup!” Each month we post a summary of the latest research, reports, and news stories on counteracting tobacco product sales and marketing at the point of sale (POS). Keeping up with what’s happening in the POS movement all across the country can help you choose policies and strategies that work best for your community. New research can help provide support for your work and evidence for the importance of the “War in the Store.” Have a story you don’t want us to miss? E-mail it to us!

New Research 

  • Trends in Cigarette Advertising, Price-Reducing Promotions, and Policy Compliance in New York State Licensed Tobacco Retailers, 2004 to 2015, American Journal of Health Promotion
    • Between 2004 and 2015, the number of licensed tobacco retailers in New York State decreased by 22.9% (from 25,740 in 2004 to 19,855 in 2015). This decrease was seen uniformly across the state. The number of convenience stores/gas stations and specialty retailers increased, while the number of large grocery stores, small grocers, pharmacies, and mass merchandisers that sell tobacco decreased. The average number of tobacco advertisements present at tobacco retailers increased from 15 per store in 2004 to 21.2 per store in 2008, but then decreased to 13.7 per store by 2014. While fewer convenience stores had tobacco advertisements present, those that did had more of them. The presence of price promotions deceased from 45.2% of stores to 24.3% of stores in 2015. Policy compliance for displaying age-of-sale signs increased from 39.2% in 2004 to 92.3% in 2015. Compliance with restrictions on self-service displays for tobacco products was high, at greater than 97% across all year surveyed.

Tobacco Advertising

  • tobacco advertisements outside a retailer 

    Association Between Receptivity to Tobacco Advertising and Progression to Tobacco Use in Youth and Young Adults in the PATH Study, JAMA Pediatrics

    • Youth and young adults who had never used tobacco but who had greater receptivity to tobacco advertising were more likely to be susceptible to tobacco use or to have used tobacco one year later. Receptivity for tobacco advertisements was highest for e-cigarette advertisements. Even those who were only receptive to e-cigarettes advertisements, but not cigarettes advertisements, were more likely to have used a cigarette at follow-up than those not receptive to any tobacco product advertisements.
    • News Story: Receptivity to e-cigarette ads among young adults in the US leads to cigarette smoking, Medical Xpress
  • Perceived racial/ethnic discrimination, marketing, and substance use among young adults, Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
    • This study examined the impact of perceived experiences of discrimination, exposure to alcohol and tobacco marketing, and receptivity to marijuana marketing on substance use. Discrimination and marketing exposure were both independently associated with substance use. The study also found an interaction effect, where individuals with high levels of exposure to tobacco marketing were also likely to report high past 30-day cigarette use regardless of the level of discrimination they reported facing, while those with low exposure to tobacco marketing were only at increased risk of reporting cigarette use when they faced higher levels of discrimination

Tobacco 21

  • Impact of New York City’s 2014 Increased Minimum Legal Purchase Age on Youth Tobacco Use, American Journal of Public Health
    • While the rate of adolescent tobacco use declined in New York City following implementation of the city’s 2014 policy raising the minimum legal purchase age for tobacco products to 21, the rate of decline in adolescent tobacco use was greater in 4 Florida cities that did not have a Tobacco 21 policy in place. However, New York City also already had many strong tobacco control policies in place (e.g. high excise taxes, a minimum price law with a price promotion ban, strong smokefree air laws, and a ban on flavored tobacco products), which may have had a greater effect on adolescent use rates than Tobacco 21. In addition, New York City has a very diverse market with many small independent retailers and many neighboring areas without as strong tobacco policies. Researchers suggest that greater enforcement and monitoring is necessary to achieve the full benefits of a Tobacco 21 policy.
  • Maximizing the Impact of Tobacco 21 Laws Across the United States, American Journal of Public Health
    • In order for policies raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 to be impactful, they must be adequately enforced. Best practices include having an articulated plan for enforcement with responsibility given to a single agency, ongoing compliance checks, funding for enforcement inspections, having high penalties (e.g. high fines, license suspension or revocation) for violators, and practicing merchant education. In addition, this paper suggests that as repeat violators have their license to sell tobacco revoked, a “cap and winnow” policy could be implemented that prevents them from being reissued, reducing tobacco retailer density and further reducing access to tobacco. The author makes a total of seven recommendations to strengthen enforcement and reduce illegal sales. 
  • Learn more about Tobacco 21 policies.

Policy Impact


Industry News

POS Policy in the Media 

Tobacco Free Pharmacies


Juul for sale in a MN convenience ste

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

Tobacco 21

Find more stories in last month’s News and Research Roundup.

Know of a story that we missed? Email us, and we’ll be sure to include it in next month’s roundup!


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