In 2012, the tobacco industry spent over $8.7 billion marketing and promoting cigarettes and smokeless tobacco at the point of sale.
These point of sale expenditures account for over 91% of their total marketing expenditures. These figures, recently released in the Federal Trade Commission reports on Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Sales and Marketing Expenditures in 2012, document a continued increase in tobacco industry expenditures at the POS over the past 30 years. Though total spending on smokeless tobacco marketing decreased from 2011-2012, spending on POS promotional activity increased.
Spending on price discounts, the largest category, increased by 26% for smokeless tobacco and 12% for cigarettes from 2011 to 2012. Spending on price discounts has been the largest expenditure category for cigarettes since 2002. These promotions reduce the price of products, counteracting the impact of tobacco control policies like excise taxes and targeting price sensitive smokers.
Tobacco marketing at the POS matters. Research shows that tobacco marketing can cause youth to start smoking, keep current smokers hooked, and make it harder to quit.
These FTC reports emphasize the critical need to monitor and address tobacco industry activity at the point of sale. Learn more about the FTC reports, The War in the Store, and strategies to limit POS marketing, advertising and promotions in your community.