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 retailer density and proliferation
- Inequalities in tobacco outlet density by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, 2012, USA: results from the ASPiRE Study, Epidemiology & Community Health
- An analysis of tobacco retailer density in 97 counties across the contiguous United States showed that while the average density was 1.3 tobacco outlets per 1,000 persons, higher tobacco retail outlet density was found in areas with higher proportions of black residents and in areas with lower median household income. Retail outlet density was lower in areas with higher proportions of Asian and white residents.
- Learn more about disparities in tobacco retailer density.
- Impact of CVS Pharmacy’s Discontinuance of Tobacco Sales on Cigarette Purchasing, American Journal of Public Health
- Following CVS Health’s 2014 decision to end tobacco sales in their stores, smokers who purchased their cigarettes exclusively at CVS were 38% more likely to stop purchasing cigarettes entirely. In addition, in 13 states where CVS holds at least 15% of the market share, cigarette pack sales decreased by average of 0.14 packs per smoker per month, compared to 3 states with no CVS locations.
- News story: CVS Health Research Institute Study Confirms that the Company’s Tobacco Removal Decision Reduced Cigarette Purchases Nationwide, PR Newswire
- Learn more about tobacco-free pharmacies.
- 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
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
- 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.
- In their own words: young adults’ menthol cigarette initiation, perceptions, experiences and regulation perspectives, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- In six focus groups with young adults (ages 18-24) menthol smokers in New Jersey, participants reported that many factors, included perceived popularity and availability, brand recognition, taste, smoothness, satisfaction, and access. Many reported that a they would almost never substitute a non-menthol product, and a menthol ban would help them quit smoking, though few were in support of the idea.
- Learn more about flavored tobacco products.
- Smoking behaviors and intentions among current e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, and dual users: A national survey of U.S. high school seniors, Preventive Medicine
- A nationally representative survey of 4385 US high school seniors from 2014 found that nearly 1 in 10 were current e-cigarettes users, 6.4% were cigarette-only users, and 7.2% were dual users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Dual users and cigarette-only users did not differ in their future cigarette smoking intentions or other smoking behaviors. E-cigarette only users had greater intentions of future cigarette smokers than non-users.
- National and State Trends in Sales of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes, U.S., 2011-2015, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
- News story: Convenience Store Cigarette Sales Grew in 2015, MedPage Today
- Battleground of Tobacco Regulation Remains Local, Convenience Store News
- Bill to Change FDA Grandfather Fate Reintroduced in Congress, HalfWheel
- NJOY Marks Fresh Start With Financial Restructuring, Convenience Store News
- FDA Issues Proposed Guidance on Sampling Restrictions, CSP Daily News
- Losing additive-free marketing claim could cool Natural American Spirit’s growth momentum, Winston-Salem Journal
POS Policy in the Media
- Youth Raises Awareness for ‘Kick Butts Day,” My Twin Tiers
- Use ‘Kick Butts Day’ to support young people, Herald and News
- Reynolds will have to remove ‘natural’ and ‘additive-free’ from Natural American Spirit cigarettes, Morningstar
Menthol and Disparities
- Community partners take on menthol tobacco marketing to local African Americans, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
- What does menthol have to do with it? Everything! Tobacco and Social Injustice Community Forum, San Francisco BayView
- African-Americans should resist targeted tobacco marketing, News and Observer
- Report: Tobacco Marketing Concentrated in Poorest Albany Neighborhoods, WAMC
- Bill would ban tobacco discounts, coupons in New York, Ithaca Journal
- Nicotine Retailers Face Double Whammy in New Jersey, CSP Daily News
- Will N.J. soon ban flavored e-cigarettes?, com
- Lawmakers seek to help e-cigarette makers escape new regulations, STAT
- Study shows increase in e-cigarette marketing and access in Yolo County, David Enterprise
- Business groups, once tobacco-friendly, switch sides in fight, Reuters
- Trenton hikes age to buy tobacco to 21 years old, NewJersey.com
- Bloomingdale raises age to buy cigarettes to 21, NorthJersey.com
- Lane County commissioners boost age to 21 for buying and using tobacco, Register-Guard
- Smokers must be 21 to buy cigarettes in North Hempstead, Newsday
- Majority of Kentucky adults support raising legal age to buy tobacco, Daily Independent
- Military Department Backs Age 21 For Tobacco as Change of Passage Slips, The Lund Report
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!