March 2017 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, Flavors (including Menthol), Minimum pack size, Minimum price, Non-Tax Price Increases, Pharmacies, Product Packaging, Store Assessments, Tobacco21, Uncategorized, Youth

Welcome to’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 

Tobacco retailer density and proliferation


  • The impact of a federal cigarette minimum pack price policy on cigarettes use in the USA, Tobacco Control
    • Using a model and yearly state-level data from the Tax Burden on Tobacco and other sources, this study found that implementing a federal $10 minimum price for cigarette packs could reduce the number of packs sold per year by 5.7 billion and reduce the number of smokers in the US by 10.7 million.  Based on their model, minimum prices greater than $5 would produce greater results for each additional price increase beyond that point. Minimum prices of $5, $7 would be expected to result in approximately 1.0 million, 4.7 million fewer smokers, respectively, due to cessation. While a minimum price of $4 would likely not significantly impact sales and smoking participation overall, it would still impact sales of low-cost brands and prevent the ability of the tobacco industry to lower price through price promotions. Given this effect and the price-sensitivity of low-income populations, even a $4 federal minimum price could reduce disparities in tobacco use by income group. Given the price sensitivity of youth who are experimenting with smoking, it could also reduce youth initiation. A federal minimum pack price could also reduce state-to-state disparities in price.
    • Learn more about increasing tobacco prices through non-tax approaches .
  • Changes in cigarette expenditure minimizing strategies before and after a cigarette tax increase, Tobacco Control
    • Switching to cheaper brands and using multi-pack discount promotions are examples of CEMS

      Cigarette expenditure minimizing strategies (CEMS) include buying a cheaper brand of cigarettes, using discount coupons/promotions, buying from a cheaper place, rolling own cigarettes, using another form of tobacco, buying by the carton instead of the pack, cutting down on consumption, and sharing fewer cigarettes with other smokers. This study analyzed the CEMS of Minnesota smokers before and after the state’s $1.75 cigarette excise tax increase in 2013. Researchers found CEMS use changes following MN’s tax increase, with more smokers trying to save money by rolling their own cigarettes, using other tobacco products, and buying cigarettes in cheaper places. However, fewer smokers used coupons/promotions or bought cigarettes by the carton. Socially disadvantaged smokers were most likely to use CEMS and continue smoking after the cigarette tax increase. Regulations that reduce CEMS (e.g. discount and coupon bans, minimum price policies for cigarettes and other tobacco products) could increase the effectiveness of cigarette tax increases.

Tobacco industry marketing and interference

  • Tobacco industry’s T.O.T.A.L. interference, Tobacco Control
    • This article examines and rebuts the arguments made by Swedish Match and the National Association of Tobacco Outlets against local tobacco control policies on their website, T.O.T.A.L. (Tobacco Ordinances Take Another Look). The authors suggest that message framing research may be useful in helping to understand what drives public and policy makers’ opinions about these regulations. In addition, understanding the relative costs and benefits of selling tobacco for retailers may also be important to minimize industry interference in local POS tobacco policy activity.
    • See talking points in response to T.O.T.A.L. from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  • The flip side of Natural American Spirit: corporate social responsibility advertising, Tobacco Control
    Natural American Spirit has launched a new “Respect the Earth” CSR campaign
    • One side of Natural American Spirit cigarette packs now advertise a 100% zero-waste-to-landfill manufacturing facility, ‘earth-friendly tobacco’ and other appeals to pro-environmental values. However, mass production of tobacco incurs significant environment costs, including deforestation, and littered cigarette butts are toxic to mammals, insects, and marine life. The company’s ‘Respect the Earth’ campaign is the first corporate social responsibility advertising seen on a cigarette pack. Research is needed to determine the effects of CSR campaigns may have on consumer misperceptions of harm or reduced harm.

Product use

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Menthol and Disparities

Coupon Bans

Proposals in NY and NJ would prohibit the use of coupons


Tobacco 21

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! is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
#pf-body #pf-header-img { margin: 0 0 0.5rem; height: 62px; }