July 2018 News and Research Roundup

Advertising Restictions, Cigarettes, Displays/Display Ban, Flavors (including Menthol), Non-Tax Price Increases, Preemption, Price Promotions, Product Availability, Product Placement, Tobacco21, Youth

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 

Menthol Sales Restrictions

  • Compliance with the City of Chicago’s partial ban on menthol cigarette sales, Tobacco Control
    • In July, 2016, Chicago, Illinois became the first major city to put a partial ban on menthol cigarettes, banning the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products within 500 ft. of schools. This assessment found a 57% compliance rate with the menthol ban, with the lowest compliance occurring among gas stations. In addition to selling menthol cigarettes, non-compliant stores were also more likely to display advertisements for menthol cigarettes. However, some stores that did not sell the products still advertised them. Overall, 29% of stores assessed had exterior advertisements and 11% had interior advertisements for menthol cigarettes. The researchers suggest that while a more comprehensive ban would likely be more effective at reducing access to menthol cigarettes, an ordinance to restrict the advertisement of menthol cigarettes could also enhance the impacts of the sales ban by reducing exposure to marketing for the product. To better improve compliance with the current policy, local enforcement efforts could focus on gas stations and other non-compliant stores.
    • Learn more about menthol tobacco products and policy options here.

Power Walls and Product Displays 

  • Exposure to the Tobacco Power Wall Increases Adolescents’ Willingness to Use E-cigarettes in the Future, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
    • The use of e-cigarettes is now more prevalent among adolescents than combustible cigarette use. In this study, adolescents shopped in a replica convenience store either with a power wall behind the counter or with the power wall hidden behind an opaque wall. Afterwards, those who shopped in the store with the power wall behind the counter were more likely to be willing to try e-cigarettes in the future than adolescents who shopped in the store with the hidden power wall. Researchers conclude that regulating  convenience store tobacco power walls may help with reducing youth susceptibility to initiating the use of e-cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products.
    • Learn more about display bans and other ways to restrict product placement.
  • Support for a point-of-sale cigarette display ban among smokers: findings from the international tobacco control (ITC) Netherlands survey, BMC Public Health
    • Research has found that  exposure to point-of-sale tobacco displays increases smoking among youth and prompts impulse purchases, making it harder to people to quit smoking. Many places internationally are taking action by implementing point-of-sale display bans. In the Netherlands, a ban on POS tobacco displays in supermarkets will be implemented in 2020 and in all other retailers in 2022. Surveys in the country show that support for a display ban has increased from 28.9% in 2010 to 42.5% in 2015. Support was higher among smokers who knew more about the health risks, believed the health risks to be severe, had a more positive attitude about quitting smoking, felt a stronger social norm for quitting smoking, and had stronger intentions to quit. Based on this information, researchers suggest that educational campaigns and cessation support may help increase support for the display ban.  
    • Learn more about display bans and other ways to restrict product placement. 

E-Cigarettes 

  • Use of Price Promotions Among U.S. Adults Who Use Electronic Vapor Products, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
    • In recent years, both the popularity and the sales of electronic vapor products has increased. This study found that within the years of 2015-2016, nearly 1 in 7 adult electronic vapor product users in the U.S. reported using price promotions (i.e. coupons, rebates, discount codes, or other special price-related promotions) to purchase the products.  Those who purchased their products at a gas station, grocery or drug store, or on the Internet were more than twice as likely to use a price promotion than those who purchased them elsewhere. Use of price promotions was also higher among those who used electronic vapor products more frequently.
    • Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale and policies to prohibit price promotions
  • Vaping versus JUULing: how the extraordinary growth and marketing of JUUL transformed the US retail e-cigarette market, Tobacco Control
    • In 2017, the brand known as Juul made up 40 % of the e-cigarette retail market share, with $150 million in sales in the last quarter of the year alone. Their marketing strategy has focused on the use of social media and has been a key ingredient in their growth. Through the use of Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, they have been able to successfully influence and engage their audience with their marketing campaigns at little cost. Between 2015-2016, Juul sales and e-cigarette retail sales in general increased substantially. Given that national survey data do not reflect a corresponding increase in use, but instead show a decrease in e-cigarette use, researchers suggest that existing surveillance systems are not fully capturing the use of Juul.
    • Learn more about Juul.

New Reports 

Industry News 

POS Policy in the Media

Flavored Tobacco Products

Tobacco 21

Preemption

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!