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!
E-Cigarette Flavor Restrictions
- Impact of the FDA flavour enforcement policy on flavoured electronic cigarette use behaviour changes,Tobacco Control
- This study investigated e-cigarette use changes after the FDA’s 2020 national ban on the sales of flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes other than tobacco and menthol. Feedback was gathered from 3,533 adults who use e-cigarettes through an anonymous, online cross-sectional survey in July 2021. As a result of the FDA’s flavored e-cigarette restriction, the top behavior change, seen among 29.24% of those surveyed, was switching to other types of flavored e-cigarettes, such as tank systems and disposables. Other key changes included participants switching to menthol-flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (18.09%) or tobacco flavored cartridge e-cigarettes (12.03%) and switching to combustible tobacco products like cigarettes (14.12%). Only 4.9% of the participants quit using e-cigarettes completely after the FDA ban. This data reinforces the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of national policies in eliciting behavior change and the continued need to implement comprehensive flavor restrictions that include all flavors and product types.
- News article: FDA ban on flavored products did not result in adults quitting e-cig use, News Medical
- Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
- State T21, Restrictions on Flavored E-Cigarette Products, and Non-Medical Cannabis Sales Legalization in Relation to Young Adult Reports of Vape Shop Age Verification and Product Offerings: A Multilevel Analysis, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- This study examined age verification and other practices at vape shops after implementation of state-level policies including Tobacco 21, flavored e-cigarette restrictions, and non-medical cannabis legalization. Researchers surveyed adults who use e-cigarettes in 6 metropolitan areas and who visited vape shops between September 2018-December 2020. Across all years, the 2nd wave (September-December 2019) had the most participants (78.7%) report age verification being done while the 1st wave (September-December 2018) saw the fewest (69.7%). State Tobacco 21 policies were not significantly associated with age verification, but state restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes were associated with significantly higher odds of participants noticing other tobacco products (such as cigarettes, cigars, hookahs), and both state restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes and state legalization of non-medical cannabis were associated with participants noticing cannabis products. These results show the need to heighten surveillance of vape shops especially in regards to their age verification compliance and their increasing variety of product offerings.
- A Pilot Study to Examine Retailer Compliance Before and After Tobacco 21 in New Jersey, Health Behavior Research
- This pilot study examined age verification practices and sale to minor violations before and after implementation of New Jersey’s 2017 statewide Tobacco 21 policy. A 19-year-old buyer was recruited to make cigarette and cigar purchase attempts at the same 15 licensed tobacco retailers for five weeks before and ten weeks after the Tobacco 21 effective date in New Jersey. During the attempted buys that took place after the policy’s effective date, 63.3% of retailers still sold tobacco to the buyer. All retailers failed to check ID at least once during each of their 15 visits; however, fewer retailers failed to card the buyer for cigarettes after the policy was in place (81.3% before vs. 69.4% after). In addition, when retailers checked ID, they then sold to minors only 6.7% of the time. Convenience stores had the highest rate of violations (74.5%) compared to other store types. These results show low rates of checking ID and the persistence of underage sales despite the policy change. The underage sales rates also stand in contrast to NJ’s low sales to minor rate (13.6%) reported through federally tracked violations during a similar time period. Researchers suggest using a protocol where the same underage youth attempts to purchase multiple times at the same stores in order to more closely mimic real world conditions and produce a truer measure of retailer compliance. This study also highlights the importance of checking ID in reducing underage sales.
- Understand more about Tobacco 21 here.
Oral Nicotine Products
- Nicotine Pouch Sales Trends in the US by Volume and Nicotine Concentration Levels From 2019 to 2022, JAMA
- This study assessed nicotine pouch sales trends at the point of sale by volume and nicotine concentration levels. Nielsen retail scanner data from August 2019-March 2022 across 2,182 areas in the U.S. for nicotine pouch brands Zyn, Rogue, On!, and Velo showed that overall nicotine pouch sales increased from 126.06 million units in 2019 to 808.14 million units in 2022. Zyn led the overall unit share (58.8%) out of all four brands, although Rogue sales increased more rapidly than other brands. The nicotine concentration levels of 3, 4, and 6 mg were most common, while availability of 8 mg increased most rapidly compared to lower levels. Researchers point to concerns about the potential for high-nicotine concentration oral nicotine pouches to contribute to nicotine addiction, and in combination with the promotions of flavored versions of the product, lead to youth experimentation with the products. They also point towards a need for health campaigns that educate the public on the potential negative health outcomes associated with nicotine pouch use.
- Listen to our podcast episode on nicotine pouches.
Youth Tobacco Use
- Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2022, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
- The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) provides data on nationwide tobacco use among youth. It is a cross-sectional, voluntary, school-based, self-administered survey of middle and high school students in public and private schools in the U.S. Data from the 2022 NYTS, administered in January-May 2022, show that approximately 24.8% students reported ever using any tobacco product and 11.3% (3.08 million) reported current use of any tobacco products, including 16.5% of high school and 4.5% of middle school students. Among those who currently use, 31% reported using multiple tobacco products during the past 30 days. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product with both groups. Higher current use was reported among students who are American Indian or Alaska Natives (AI/AN); lesbian, gay, or bisexual; transgender; in severe psychological distress; with low family affluence; and of low academic achievement.
- Socio-temporal contextual and community factors associated with daily exclusive ENDS use and dual use with tobacco cigarettes among adolescent vapers: an ecological momentary assessment study, BMC Public Health
- Research shows that adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely than adolescents who do not use e-cigarettes to also use cigarettes, which compounds the negative effects of and can leads to dependence on tobacco products. This study revealed the contextual and community factors driving dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes among adolescents. Data was collected from a sample of 50 adolescents (aged 14-17) who used e-cigarettes over 2 weeks in 2018. The researchers used an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methodology which involved collecting data from participants in real-time every day to help reduce recall bias and maximize validity. Key feedback included their reasons for vaping and e-cigarette advertising exposure. The participants used both e-cigarettes and cigarettes on 8% of the days, and these days were associated with greater reported exposure to peer and adult vaping and e-cigarette related advertising. These findings show the need for stricter regulation of e-cigarette related advertising, which is highly prevalent at the point of sale, and a greater understanding of risk factors for dual tobacco product use.
Reports and Resources
- Tobacco Retail Compliance Checks: A Review of Best Practices (2022), The Public Health Law Center
- Texans Move Toward Tobacco-Free Nicotine Pouches as Sales Skyrocket in US for Second Consecutive Year, PR Newswire
- Heat-not-burn Products Market To Receive Overwhelming Hike In Revenues By 2031, Transparency Market Research
- Inflation Boosts U.S. Sales of Discount Cigarettes, Tobacco Reporter
- Vape Persists Amidst Regulations, CStore Decisions
POS Policy in the Media
Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions
- [CA] Big tobacco tries to stop California flavored tobacco ban, AP News; Supreme Court Refuses to Block California’s Ban on Flavored Tobacco, The New York Times; U.S. Supreme Court Denies Tobacco Industry’s Request for Injunction Halting California’s Flavored Tobacco Law, Allowing Lifesaving Measure to Take Effect, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- [ME] Rockland to consider ban on sale of flavored tobacco, Courier-Gazette
- [ME] South Portland, Maine Passes First Reading of Flavored Tobacco Ban, HalfWheel
- [NY] Westchester legislators vote to end sale of tobacco products, Mid Hudson News; Latimer Vetoes Flavored Tobacco Ban, BOL Doesn’t Have Votes to Override, Yonkers Times
- [OH] Bill blocking cities from stricter tobacco laws passes Ohio legislature, Cleveland.com; Mike DeWine hints that he’ll veto bill to limit local rules on flavored tobacco, The Columbus Dispatch
- [OR] Board unanimously approves final reading of ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products, Multnomah County
- [MN] OTC proposes clarification in T-21 tobacco ordinance, Daily Journal
- The chase is on: Regulators are slowly cracking down on vapes aimed at teens, NPR
- [VA] New language to define vape, other products OK’d, advances to supervisors, Chesterfield Observer
Tobacco Retailer Licensing
- [OH] Reynoldsburg eyes licensing program for businesses selling tobacco products, The Columbus Dispatch
- [NY] New laws in an Onondaga County town aim to limit tobacco and vaping shops, Syracuse.com
Tobacco Industry Litigation
- Court Issues Order Requiring Cigarette Companies to Post Corrective Statements; Resolves Historic RICO Tobacco Litigation, The US Department of Justice; Court Order Requires Tobacco Companies to Post Signs About Health Risks of Smoking at 200,000 Stores Across U.S., Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids
- Court Ruling Against FDA’s Graphic Cigarette Warnings is Wrong on the Law and Must Be Appealed, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Court Blocks FDA Graphic Health Warnings, Tobacco Reporter
- Juul to reportedly pay $1.2B to settle 10,000 youth-vaping lawsuits, The New York Post
- New Zealand passes world-first tobacco law to ban smoking for next generation, The Guardian
- Why Big Tobacco’s attempts to rehabilitate its image are so dangerous, The Conversation
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!