ASPiRE Center Releases New POS Reports

Licensing, Policy Advocacy, Retailer Density, Store Assessments, Stores Near Schools, Uncategorized
The ASPiRE Center, a National Cancer Institute-funded collaborative of tobacco control researchers, practitioners, and legal experts, recently released two extensive reports on commercial tobacco at the point of sale.

cover photo of the report "Tobacco Retail Policy Trends in 2019: Insights from the Field"Using data from interviews with program managers and coalition members from Community Advisory Boards in 30 cities, as well as an online survey of state tobacco control program managers in all 50 states, the Tobacco Retail Policy Trends in 2019: Insights from the Field provides detailed findings on current retail policy activity, barriers to implementing and enforcing point-of-sale policies, industry opposition, and preemption. The report also provides information on store assessments and other resources for tobacco control advocates. More information on various policy solutions and strategies can be found here. The second report is based on a study conducted in partnership with tobacco control leaders in 30 major cities and researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Washington University in St. Louis. The Retail Tobacco Density & Access Executive Summary provides an overview of the findings and data collection methods. For each of the 30 cities, the ASPiRE Center also released a fact sheet, which provides a snapshot of the tobacco retail environment including statistics on the city’s tobacco retailer density and proximity, a ‘Tobacco Swamps’ map detailing the proportion of residents living in close proximity to tobacco retailers, and a city-specific press release. See below for the major findings from the compiled data from all 30 cities:

  • Among 30 US Cities there are 31X more tobacco retailers than McDonalds Approximately 63% of public schools are within 1,000 feet, or roughly 2 city blocks, of a tobacco retailer. In New York City, 94% of public schools are in this close proximity to a tobacco retailer. 
  • The number of tobacco retailers per square mile is nearly 5 times more in the lowest-income areas, compared to the highest-income areas, with this disparity most prevalent in Memphis, Tennessee. 
  • Roughly 70% of city residents live within 1/2 mile, or about a 10 minute walk, of a tobacco retailer and, on average, over half of tobacco retailers are within 500 feet, or about a 2 minute walk, of another tobacco retailer. 
  • To put this all into perspective, there are 31 times more tobacco retailers than McDonald’s and 16 times more tobacco retailers than Starbucks. 
Licensing is an effective and evidence-backed strategy to reduce the density, proximity, and total number of retailers. Learn more about licensing here is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
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