In 2013, the tobacco industry spent over $8.6 billion on marketing and promoting cigarettes and smokeless tobacco at the point of sale.
These point of sale expenditures account for 91.2% 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 2013, document a continued increase in tobacco industry expenditures at the POS over the past 30 years. Though sales and total spending on cigarette marketing decreased slightly from 2012-2013, the proportional amount of spending on POS promotional activity grew slightly from 91.17% to 91.2%. Marketing expenditures for smokeless tobacco grew by 15%, and the amount spent at the POS grew by 23%.
Spending on price discounts, the largest category for both smokeless tobacco and cigarettes, increased by 33% for smokeless tobacco from 2012-2013, now accounting for over 56% of total marketing dollars. Though total expenditures on price discounts for cigarettes dipped slightly, it remained at over 85.4% of all marketing dollars spent for cigarettes. Spending on coupons for cigarettes also increased by 4%. These promotions reduce the price of products, counteracting the impact of tobacco control policies like excise taxes and targeting price sensitive smokers. See more details.
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.