March 2021 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Large Cigars, Preemption, Product Availability, Retailer Density, Smokeless Tobacco and SNUS, 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 Disparities

  • The legacy of redlining: Associations between historical neighborhood mapping and contemporary tobacco retailer density in Ohio, Health & Place
    • An analysis conducted in thirteen Ohio cities found that neighborhoods that had been graded as less desirable by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation in the 1930s (a practice referred to as “redlining” that graded African-American and low-income neighborhoods with the worst grade, “hazardous” and resulted in neighborhood segregation and disinvestment) had higher tobacco retailer density today even controlling for current neighborhood demographics. As researchers note, “these results highlight the persisting impacts of redlining and how disparities, once intentionally created, can be perpetuated over time.”
    • Learn more about tobacco retailer density.
  • Retail violations of sales to minors on e-cigarettes and cigars, Public Health
    • An analysis of national FDA inspection for retail violations of sales to minors data collected between August 2016 and May 2018 shows differences in violations based on neighborhood characteristics. Overall, 20% of violations with warning letters were for e-cigarettes, 40.4% were for cigars, 35.6% were forcigarettes, and 4% were for smokeless tobacco. However, retailers located in zip-codes with a greater proportion of youth were more likely to have a violation for e-cigarettes, whereas retailers located in zip-codes with a greater proportion of residents who are African-American were more likely to have a violation for cigars and less likely to have a violation for e-cigarettes.

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco

Point-of-Sale Pricing



  • Disposable E-Cigarette Use among U.S. Youth – An Emerging Public Health Challenge, New England Journal of Medicine
    • Based on data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, use of disposable e-cigarettes among middle schoolers who currently use any e-cigarettes increased from 3% in 2019 to 15.2% in 2020. Use of disposable e-cigarettes among high schoolers who currently use any e-cigarettes increased from 2.4% in 2019 to 26.5% in 2020. Use of these products also increased among all middle school students (from 0.3% in 2019 to 0.7% in 2020) and among all high school students (from 0.7% in 2019 to 5.1% in 2020). This aligns with other research showing an increase in sales of disposable e-cigarettes following implementation of the 2020 federal policy prohibiting the sale of cartridge or pod-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than menthol or tobacco, which did not apply to disposable e-cigarettes.


  • Retail Alcohol and Tobacco Sales During COVID-19, Annals of Internal Medicine
    • Retail purchases of tobacco and alcohol between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 increased across nearly all demographics and geographies across the United States compared to the same time period in 2019. Retail sales for alcohol increased by 34% while retail sales of tobacco increased by 13%.

Industry News 

POS Policy in the Media

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products



Retailer Licensing


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)
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