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!
Tobacco Retail Availability
- Turning over a new leaf: Vape shop closings, openings and transitions in six U.S. Metropolitan statistical areas, Preventive Medicine Reports
- A comparison of vape shops in six U.S. metropolitan statistical areas between April-May 2018 and July-September 2019 found that over that time period, 11.5% of vape shops originally identified had closed and 29.8% of stores identified at follow-up had newly opened. Stores that only sold vape products were more likely to close than those that sold other tobacco products. Stores were also more likely to open in areas with more non-Hispanic White residents. Slightly more stores (3.5% vs. 2.0%) had marijuana-related names at follow-up as well. The researchers recommend retailer licensing to help track location, sales practices, and the opening and closing of vape shops.
- Learn more about licensing and tobacco retailer density.
- Tobacco retail availability and cigarette and e-cigarette use among youth and adults: a scoping review, Tobacco Control
- This study shows that while there is evidence for the association between tobacco retailer availability and rates of smoking and e-cigarette use in a community, there is also a need for greater consistency in measurement of density and proximity as environmental exposure to tobacco retailers, as well as more representative samples and consistent controls for population demographics.
- Trends in the Number and Type of Tobacco Product Retailers, United States, 2000-2017, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study found that tobacco retailer availability increased by 12% between 2000 and 2017, with the total number of stores across the country increasing from 317,492 to 356,074 , even though smoking rates decreased during this time period. On average, each year about 8% of the total stores had newly opened and 7.3% of stores closed. Researchers indicate this rate of closure could help jurisdictions that implement retailer caps or other policies that rely on attrition over time to reduce retail availability of tobacco to anticipate the likely rate of change. In addition, researchers found that gas/convenience stores were the most common type of tobacco retailer, followed by grocery stores and supermarkets. Since 2011, the number of pharmacies selling tobacco decreased, while the number of tobacco-specialty stores and discount stores (e.g. dollar stores) selling tobacco increased.
- See a poster describing the results of this study here: https://aspirecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/SRNT-2021-Golden-Trends-Poster.pdf
- Effects of menthol use and transitions in use on short-term and long-term cessation from cigarettes among US smokers, Tobacco Control
- An analysis of data from the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that among people who had attempted to quit smoking, those who smoked menthol cigarettes were 28% less likely to remain abstinent for 30 days and 53% less likely to remain abstinent over the course of 12 months than those who smoked non-menthol cigarettes. The rates of remaining abstinent were also slightly lower for non-Hispanic Black people who smoked menthol.
- News story: Smokers of menthol cigarettes have a harder time quitting, large new study finds, Stat News
- Learn more about menthol tobacco.
- Price promotion receipt and use progression of any tobacco, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cigars among US youth between 2016 and 2018, Tobacco Control
- This analysis of data from the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that youth ages 12-16 who received price promotions for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or cigars were 77% more likely to have initiated tobacco use, 54% more likely to be a current user, and 76% more likely to be a regular user one year later. Receiving e-cigarette coupons specifically was associated with e-cigarette initiation, current use, and regular use; and receiving cigarette and cigar coupons specifically was associated with initiation for those respective products.
- Learn more about policies that prohibit price promotions.
- Altria (MO) Up 14% in 6 months, Gains on Low-Risk Products, Yahoo Finance
- How Will Tobacco Flavor Bans Impact Convenience Store Sales, Convenience Store Decisions
- Marlboro Maker CEO Says The Company Plans to Stop Selling Smoke in the U.K., NPR
- 22nd Century plans local workforce expansion with new production contract, Winston-Salem Journal
POS Policy in the Media
- Juul settled with North Carolina for $40 million. Now what?, NC Health News
- In a fight for survival, Juul funds pro-vaping studies, then pays a scholarly journal to showcase them, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Juul is Fighting to Keep Its E-Cigarettes on the U.S. Market, New York Times
- Vaping Debate ‘Heating Up” Once Again, Action News Now
Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products
- Tobacco Free Zone programs urges public to take action against unjust marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes, Cortland Voice
- La Verne bans sale of flavored tobacco products, Daily Bulletin
- Black Smokers Top of Mind as Push for FDA Menthol Ban Grows, Bloomberg Law
- More than 100 California cities and counties ban selling flavored tobacco. Will San Jose be next? Mercury News
- Is Zyn the Next Juul?, San Francisco Weekly
- Heated tobacco products: The next generation of smoke-free alternatives targeting teens, ABC News
- A decade on from plain packaging, what is the result, Sydney Morning Herald
- Enforcing tobacco age: Conflicting laws hinder Wisconsin police efforts, Fox 6
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!