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!
Tobacco Retailer Density
- Associations between disparities in tobacco retailer density and disparities in tobacco use, Preventive Medicine
- While research has previously shown that areas with higher tobacco retailer density have higher tobacco use rates and that tobacco retailer density is greater in areas with high poverty and high proportions of racial/ethnic minority populations, this study expands that research, showing that when poverty and race/ethnicity-based disparities in tobacco retailer density are greater in an area, disparities in tobacco use among adults are also greater.
- A simulation of the potential impact of restricting tobacco retail outlets around middle and high schools on tobacco advertisements, Tobacco Control
- An analysis of tobacco advertisements at retailers located within a half-mile of middle and high schools in four metropolitan areas in Texas found that tobacco retailers located within 1000ft of schools had more tobacco advertisements than those located within 1000-2000ft. A simulation showed that a ban on tobacco retailers within 1000ft of schools would result in a 19.4% reduction in tobacco advertisements, whereas a policy banning tobacco retailers within 500ft of another tobacco retailer would result in a 17.9% reduction in tobacco advertisements
- Simulating the density reduction and equity impact of potential tobacco retail control policies, Tobacco Control
- This simulation, conducted in Scotland, demonstrates the importance of considering the impacts of a given policy on disparities and equity, not just on population health. Researchers found that policies restricting the sale of tobacco to a single type of store reduced tobacco retailer density by 80%, but restricting sales to either only liquor stores or only pharmacies also increased socioeconomic disparities in tobacco retailer density. They found that, instead, requiring minimum distances between tobacco retailers and a minimum distance that tobacco retailers could be located from child-centric spaces like schools improved equity, but that only policies that aimed to target clusters of retailers were effective at reducing those clusters.
- Learn more about tobacco retailer density and disparities in tobacco retailer density.
- E-cigarette devices, brands, and flavors attract youth: Informing FDA’s policies and priorities to close critical gaps, Addictive Behaviors
- National cross-sectional data from a May 2020 online survey found that while 82.7% of participants had ever used a pod/cartridge-based e-cigarette, over half (50.8%) of participants who had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days and over a third of participants who had used e-cigarettes in the past 7-days reported using disposables. This represents a shift in use patterns following the FDA’s January 2020 ban on flavored pod/cartridge-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than menthol and tobacco. Mint/menthol was the most used flavor, followed by fruit and sweet/dessert/candy flavors. Participants also reported using add-on e-cigarette flavor enhancers, underscoring the need for more comprehensive regulation of flavored e-cigarette products
- Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
- Cheaper tobacco product prices at US Air Force Bases compared with surrounding community areas, 2019, Tobacco Control
- While the US Department of Defense (DoD) implemented a policy in 2017 that requires all military stores to set tobacco prices equal to ‘prevailing prices’ in the ‘local community’ adjusted for state and local taxes, researchers found that the median price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco were still cheaper at on-base retailers on five Air Force Bases in Texas and Mississippi in 2019. Researchers conclude that “refining of the definitions used and improved compliance with the new DoD policy are needed.
- Learn more about point-of-sale pricing policies.
Point of Sale Health Warnings
- Point-of-Sale Health Communication Campaigns for Cigarillos and Waterpipe Tobacco: Effects and Lessons Learned from Two Cluster Randomized Trials, Health Communication
- Health messages displayed at convenience stores in North Carolina regarding cigarillos and waterpipe (hookah) tobacco increased convenience store customers knowledge about harmful chemicals in smoke from cigarillos (ammonia, cyanide) and waterpipe tobacco (arsenic).
- Tobacco messages encountered in real-time among low socio-economic position groups: a descriptive study, BMC Public Health
- A study conducted in Boston, MA and Houston, TX asked individuals ages 18-34 in low socioeconomic position groups to document images of tobacco-related messages (both pro- and anti-) that they encountered over the course of a week. Participants were exposed to more pro-tobacco images, which most often were cigarette ads outside or inside convenience stores or gas stations, than anti-tobacco messages, which most often were public health campaign sponsored signs in public areas. Researchers suggest that anti-tobacco messages at the point-of-sale and/or advertising regulations may help combat tobacco use.”
- Learn more about point-of-sale health warnings.
- Shedding ‘light’ on cigarette pack design: colour differences in product perceptions, use and exposure following the US descriptor ban, Tobacco Control
- While the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited the use of “light” and “mild” descriptors on cigarettes, tobacco companies relabeled products that formerly used these descriptors with corresponding colors. For instance, Marlboro “light” became Marlboro Gold. This study found that people who smoke Marlboro Gold are still more likely than people who smoke Marlboro Red to incorrectly believe that their cigarettes have less nicotine and tar than other cigarettes. Researchers suggest that comprehensive packaging or product design regulations could help better inform people who smoke of product risks.
- Analyst: Reynolds set to raise prices by 14 cents a pack, Winston-Salem Journal
- 2021 Tobacco and Nicotine Year in Review, CSP Daily News
- The Vape Waiting Game Continues, Convenience Store Decisions
POS Policy in the Media
- [CO] Mayor Hancock vetoes bill banning flavored tobacco sales in Denver, Denverite
- [KY] KY Communities Continue to Push for Local Tobacco Control, Public News Service
- [MA] AG Healey Secures Nearly $51 Mission From National E-cigarette Retailer and Owners for Marketing and Selling Vaping Products to Young People, Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- [MA] How One Massachusetts Town Could Shape the Future of Tobacco, TIME
- How Big Tobacco used bad science to avoid accountability – and set the blueprint for Big Oil, Salon
- New Zealand to ban cigarette sales for future generations, Reuters
- How companies like Puff Bar have avoided FDA regulation: “The industry can innovate around it,” CBS News
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!