January 2021 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, Displays/Display Ban, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Preemption, Product Availability, Retailer Density, Stores Near Schools, Tobacco21

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!

New Research 

POS Advertising, Marketing & Promotions

  • Tobacco Advertisements: What Messages Are They Sending in African American Communities?, Health Promotion Practice
    • In this study, researchers examined tobacco advertisements at 24 retail stores listed on CounterTools.org Store Mapper within 15 census tracts in Greensboro, North Carolina. Roughly 74% of the population was African American within the analyzed tracts. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the extent to which tobacco advertisements within African American communities use three prominent messaging strategies: reassure use is safe despite health risks, redirect attentionmenthol ads targeting african americans from health risks to other product features, or incite bravery to use despite health risks. Researchers observed 165 ads from the 24 identified retailers, finding that the misdirection of attention strategy was used more frequently compared to reassurance and inducement to bravery. Misdirection ads frequently emphasized words, such as “enjoy,” “pleasure,” or “satisfies.” The study also found that tobacco messaging strategies are not uniformly applied across product types.
    • Learn more about this study in our past webinar “Tobacco Ad Messaging Strategies at the Point of Sale – A Health Equity Focused Case Study”
  • A Simulation of the potential impact of restricting tobacco retail outlets around middle and high schools on tobacco advertisements, Tobacco Control
    • This study examined tobacco marketing at the tobacco retail outlets (TROs) within a half-mile of 53 middle and high schools in Texas. TROs within 1000 ft of schools had significantly more tobacco advertisements as compared with TROs located within 1000-2000 ft for all schools combined and middle schools. Simulation of the 1000 ft ban of TROs led to a slightly greater reduction in advertisements as compared with the 500 ft ban of TROs from other TROs. The reduction in all advertisement types was greater around middle schools and greatest for e-cigarettes.These results indicate that the implementation of a 1000 ft ban of TROs is one way to reduce adolescent exposure to tobacco advertising and help prevent or reduce the use of tobacco among adolescents.
  • Retail Tobacco Marketing in Rural Versus Nonrural Counties: Product Availability, Discounts, and Prices, Health Promotion Practice
    • Previous research has demonstrated geographic disparities in tobacco use, with higher rates observed among rural populations. Using the 2017 CaliforniaTobacco Retail Surveillance Study (CTRSS) data, researchers were able to assess product availability and promotion for several types of tobacco products (including vaping products), and different measures of price for cigarettes and chewing tobacco, while comparing rural versus nonrural stores. The study compared both county-level and tract-level definitions of rural. Regardless of the definition, rural stores were more than twice as likely to sell roll-your-own tobacco and chewing tobacco. Rural-tract stores were almost twice as likely to sell little cigars/cigarillos. Additionally, significantly larger packs of cigarillos were sold for less than $1 in rural-county stores and rural-tract stores were significantly more likely to advertise discounts on chewing tobacco. These findings point to health equity concerns for rural communities and suggests that minimum price and/or package size policies could help to equalize prices in rural and nonrural areas.


Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Tobacco 21

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

Tobacco Retailer Licenses




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

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