August 2023 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Health Warnings, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Minimum price, Non-Tax Price Increases, Price Promotions, Product Availability, Youth

Welcome to’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

Point of Sale Pricing Policies 

Cigars at the Point of Sale 

  • Exploring the Presence and Type of Premium Cigar Retailers With Neighborhood Sociodemographic Correlates in the United States, 2019–2021, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
    • Analysis of a national list of retailers selling premium cigars showed that 39% were cigar stores, 26% were cigar bars or lounges, and 15% were beer, wine, or liquor stores, while less than 1% were convenience stores, grocery stores, or other types of stores. Retailers selling premium cigars in census tracts with a higher percentage of non-Hispanic Black residents were more likely to be a cigar bar or lounge, which may expose customers, workers, and residents to greater secondhand smoke. The researchers suggest that localities could address disparities in cigar bar location through zoning policies. 
    • Learn more about zoning policies.
  • The effect of state and local flavored cigar sales restrictions, on retail sales of large cigars, cigarillos and little cigars in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and New York, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
    • This study analyzed retail scanner data from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York to assess changes in per capita cigar sales in association with policies restricting the sale of flavored cigars. They found that as the percentage of the population within a state covered by a flavored cigar restriction increased by 25%, sales of all cigars decreased by 15-19%, sales large cigars decreased by 4-10%, sales of cigarillos decreased by 17-21%, and sales of little cigars decreased by 2-41%. This shows that policies restricting the sale of flavored cigars, like the product standard proposed by the FDA, are effective in reducing cigar sales.
  • Improving Point-of-Sale Warnings for Single Cigars: Implications for Premium Cigars, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
    • The FDA has proposed that tobacco retailers display warning signs at the point of sale for cigars sold individually without packaging. This study compared the six FDA-proposed text-only warning signs for single cigars with other types of text-only warning signs and warning signs with text and images. The warning sign with both text and image better discouraged study participants from smoking cigars, decreased cigar purchase intentions, and decreased the urge to smoke more compared to the FDA-proposed text-only warning sign. Especially given that the text-only warning signs did not perform significantly better at discouraging cigar smoking than having no warning sign, the researchers conclude that adding images to the warnings signs could increase their effectiveness.   
    • Learn more about POS Health Warnings 

E-Cigarettes at the Point of Sale 


  • FDA must ban menthol cigarettes without delay: lessons from other countries, American Journal of Preventive Medicine 
    • The authors of this paper examine evidence from around the world to provide recommendations relating to the FDA’s proposed product standard prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes. They point out that while the tobacco industry often argues that banning menthol cigarettes will drive sales to illicit markets, studies in Canada, England, and Netherlands have found no increase in illicit cigarette purchases. In order to close loopholes that would allow the tobacco industry to circumvent the ban, the authors argue that the FDA should ban menthol as an additive in cigarettes rather than as a characterizing flavor given the potential for tobacco companies to use menthol analogs or synthetic coolants in place of menthol and that menthol as an additive in “non-menthol” cigarettes still impacts the cigarette’s sensory effects. They also argue that the FDA should ban all accessories that allow users to add menthol flavor to cigarettes, given the proliferation and use of these type of accessories across other countries with menthol bans in place.  
    • Learn more about menthol.
  • Short Report: Still ‘Cool’: tobacco industry responds to state-wide menthol ban with synthetic coolants, Tobacco Control 
    • Researchers examined 10 different brands and types of cigarettes that had blue and green packaging suggesting cooling effects but “non-menthol” descriptors that were purchased in California in comparison with the exact same brands and types with menthol descriptors purchased in New York. They found that while menthol was found in only one brand amongst the cigarettes purchased in California, it was present in most of those purchased in New York. However, a synthetic cooling agent was detected in 4 of the types of cigarettes purchased in Cigarettes, but in none of those purchased in New York. The researchers recommend that policymakers consider the chemical ingredients and sensory impacts in addition to characterizing flavor in future regulations.  
    • News story: Studies Reveal How Tobacco Industry May Try to Get Around Proposed FDA Ban on Menthol Flavor, Roswell Park

New Reports and Resources 

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density

Proximity to Schools

Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions



Federal Regulation

Equitable Enforcement


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

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