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 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
- An estimation of the harm of menthol cigarettes in the United States from 1980 to 2018, Tobacco Control
- Using data from the National Health Interview Survey and a simulation model, researchers found that between 1980 and 2018, menthol cigarettes slowed the decline of smoking prevalence by 2.6%, were responsible for 10.1 million extra smokers, 3 million life years lost, and 378,000 premature deaths.
- News story: Menthol cigarettes linked to 10 million extra smokers, hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, University of Michigan News
- Learn more about menthol.
- Retail marketing of menthol cigarettes in Los Angeles, California: a challenge to health equity, Preventing Chronic Disease
- Retail store assessment data collected in Los Angeles County, CA in 2016 and 2017 show that menthol cigarettes were widely available, sold at over 94.5% of retailers. However, Newport menthol brand cigarettes were more widely available, and menthol cigarettes were sold at a cheaper price, more likely to be discounted, and more likely to be advertised on the storefront at retailers in neighborhoods with residents who are predominately African-American compared with retailers in neighborhoods whose residents are predominately Hispanic or non-Hispanic White.
- Learn more about disparities in point-of-sale advertising.
- Changes in cigarillo availability following implementation of a local flavoured tobacco sales restriction, Tobacco Control
- Following Providence, RI’s 2013 restriction on the sale of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products, scanner data shows that availability of unique cigarillo products decreased between 2012 and 2016 to a greater degree than in the rest of the state. However, sales and market share of cigarillos with concept flavors (e.g. tropical twist, jazz, green) increased in Providence compared to the rest of the state.
- Learn more about flavored tobacco products at the point of sale.
- Point-of-sale cigarette pricing strategies and young adult smokers’ intention to purchase cigarette: an online experiment, Tobacco Control
- An online experiment found that young adults who smoke were more likely to purchase cigarettes when offered a price discount. When there were fewer price options or “tiers” available, participants were less likely to purchase cigarettes. When discounts were offered on higher priced cigarettes, participants with at least some college education were more likely to purchase cigarettes, while when discounts were offered on medium-priced cigarettes, participants with some college education or less were more likely to purchase cigarettes.
- Learn more about point-of-sale pricing strategies.
- Use of internal documents to investigate a tobacco company’s strategies to market snus in the United States, Tobacco Prevention & Cessation
- A study of tobacco industry documents show that tobacco company RJ Reynolds marketed their product Camel Snus to people who did not currently use smokeless tobacco as well as to people who currently use both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, marketing it as a nicotine product that could be used when cigarettes couldn’t (e.g. due to smokefree air policies). Researcherssay that these strategies show that the company was not trying to position the product as a cigarette replacement. They also tried to promote the product through third parties, including retailers.
- Learn more about non-cigarette tobacco products and point-of-sale policies.
- 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%.
- Disposable E-Cigarette Category Grows as Puff Bar Sales Fall, CSP Daily News
- Tobacco Loyalty Tools Finding Their Way to Independent C-Stores, Convenience Store Decisions
- What is the Modern Oral Nicotine Category, Convenience Store Decisions
POS Policy in the Media
Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products
- Menthol Cigarettes Kill Many Black People. A Ban May Finally Be Near, New York Times
- Democrats urge FDA to clear market of all flavored e-cigarettes, The Hill
- [HI] Students call for amending SB1147, Garden Island
- [CT] Residents, industry groups debate banning flavored tobacco in Bridgeport, Wilton Bulletin
- [CT] Connecticut Could Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes, Menthol Tobacco Products by October, WSHU
- [KY] Bills for local control of tobacco haven’t even been assigned to committees, though advocates say they would pass on the floor, Times-Tribune
- [KY] Guest Column: Kentucky must untie the hands of local officials to address our tobacco problem, Times-Tribune
- [FL] Bill raising smoking age to 21 passes second Senate committee, Florida Politics
- [SC] SC House Subcommittee passes bill which could reduce local communities’ power to enact tobacco legislation, Count on 2 News
- [ID] Bill to lift Idaho smoking age from 18 to 21 heads to House, AP News
- FTC asks five e-cigarette firms, including Juul, to turn over more sales and advertising data, CNBC
- Puff Bar Defies FDA Crackdown on Fruity E-Cigarettes by Ditching the Tobacco, Wall Street Journal
- FDA investigating e-cigarette maker selling fruit-flavored vaporizers despite ban, The Hill
- [NY] Town of Hempstead Considers Banning Stores Near Schools, Parks and Playgrounds From Selling Vaping Products, WLNY
- [MA] New regulations expand tobacco and vaping restrictions in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times
- [ND] Bill seeks to require license to sell vape products, KFYR
- [MN] Renville County debating new tobacco ordinance to keep products from youths, West Central Tribune
- Moorhead, Dilworth to discuss restorative measures for youth tobacco violations, InForum
- [NY] Kicking Butts: NY Bill Proposed Banning Filtered Cigarettes, NRDC
- Marlboro Maker Asks FDA to Convince Americans Nicotine Isn’t That Bad, Bloomberg
- Federal judge approves delaying enforcement date for graphic warnings on cigarette packs, Winston-Salem Journal
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!