December 2016 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Health Warnings, Large Cigars, Licensing, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Minimum price, Non-Tax Price Increases, Smokeless Tobacco and SNUS, Tobacco21, Vape Shops, 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

  • Ordinances in three MN cities prevent sale of super cheap single cigars
    Ordinances in three MN cities prevent sale of super cheap single cigars

    Effectiveness of Local Policy Efforts to Increase the Price of Cheap Cigars in Minnesota, American Journal of Public Health

    • Three Minnesota cities have passed legislation setting a minimum price for cigars within recent years. In April 2014, the city of Brooklyn Center (a suburb of Minneapolis) adopted a policy that set the minimum price for a pack of 4 or fewer cigars at $2.10 per cigar. In August 2014, the city of St. Paul adopted a policy with the same language, and in May 2015, the city of Maplewood (a suburb of Saint Paul) adopted a policy that set a minimum price of $2.60 per cigar and $10.40 for packs of 4 or more cigars. Researchers conducted assessments of tobacco retailers in these cities between June 2013 and July 2015 and found high policy compliance post-implementation. In addition, the percentage of retailers across all three cities selling single cigars decreased from 80% to 46%, and the percentage of retailers selling 2- or 3-packs of cigars decreased from 74% to 52%. The policy resulted in an average price increase of $1.17 for single cigars in St. Paul and $1.27 in Maplewood. Similarly, the price of the cheapest 2-pack rose by $2.36 in St. Paul and by $3.08 in Maplewood.
    • Learn more about non-tax price policies.
  • The Effect of Tobacco Control Polices on US Smokeless Tobacco Use: A Structured Review, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
    • This review found that smokeless tobacco use responds to tobacco control policies, including taxes, media campaigns, health warnings, and cessation treatment policies. While studies have not been conducted on the impact of marketing or product content restrictions, the literature shows that product marketing (including advertising, packaging, flavors, and branding) plays a significant role in smokeless tobacco use.
  • Impact of non-menthol flavours in tobacco products on perceptions and use among youth, young adults and adults: a systematic review, Tobacco Control

E-Cigarettes and Vape Shops

  • victory-vape-storeIdentification of Vape Shops in Two North Carolina Counties: An Approach for States without Retailer Licensing, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    • Researchers identified vape shop locations in two North Carolina counties through four online business listings (Google Maps, ReferenceUSA,, and Yelp) as well as four vaping web sites (,,, for one county. They then used “ground truthing,” driving primary and secondary roads to validate their search results and identify additional stores. While their online searches identified 28 vape shops, only 16 were confirmed. The researchers indicate that due to the range in sensitivity of online searches (62.5%-81.3%) and range of positive predictive values (73.3% to 92.3%) states should consider licensing requirements for vape shops and tobacco retailers for tracking and compliance check purposes.
    • Learn more about store assessments for vape shops.
  • The Tobacco 21 Movement and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use Among Youth, Pediatrics
    • This article provides an overview of the Tobacco 21 movement and suggests that including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in laws that raise the minimum legal sale age to 21 could help prevent youth exposure to nicotine and its associated consequences, as well as potentially reduce youth initiation of cigarettes. The authors also suggest that including ENDS in Tobacco 21 laws may help garner additional political support.
    • Learn more about Tobacco 21 and about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.

Packaging and Warning Labels

New Reports screenshot-2016-12-08-11-31-30

  • E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General
    • Released by Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, this is the 33rd tobacco-related Surgeon General’s Report and is the first federal government review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes. The report focuses on preventing youth and young adult use of e-cigarettes and includes information on the historical background, patterns of use and health effects among youth and young adults, the activities of e-cigarette companies, as well as policy and practice implications.
  • Consumption of Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco – United States, 2000-2015, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
    • Total consumption of combustible tobacco products decreased by 33.5% from 2000 to 2015, and total consumption of cigarettes, the most commonly used combustible product, decreased by 38.7%. However, per capita consumption of cigarettes increased from 2014 to 2015, which is the first increase from year to year since 1973. Additionally, consumption of other products is on the rise, with a 117.1% (83.3% per capita) increase in non-cigarette combustible tobacco (e.g. cigars, roll-your-own, pipe tobacco) and a 23.1% (4.2% per capita) increase in smokeless tobacco use. During this time period, there was a rise in use of pipe tobacco (556.4%) and large cigars (179.6%) corresponding with a decrease in use of roll-your-own tobacco (70%) and small cigars (75.6%). These trends can be attributed in part to the tobacco industry’s 2008-2015 modification of little cigars and roll-your-own tobacco products to meet the definitions for categorization as large cigars and pipe tobacco, respectively, thus avoiding higher taxes and reducing the cost to the consumer.
  • Broken Promises to our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 18 Years LaterCampaign for Tobacco Free Kids 
  • 2016 Monitoring the Future StudyNational Institute on Drug Abuse 
  • Update: Deadly Alliance: How Big Tobacco and Convenience Stores Partner to Market Tobacco Products and Fight Life-Saving PoliciesCampaign for Tobacco Free Kids, & American Heart Association

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Graphic Health Warning Labels

Flavored tobacco products like these can now only be sold in adult-only stores in Shorewood, MN
Flavored tobacco products like these can now only be sold in adult-only stores in Shorewood, MN

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! is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
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