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!
Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products
- Synthetic Cooling Agents in US-marketed E-cigarette Refill Liquids and Popular Disposable E-cigarettes: Chemical Analysis and Risk Assessment, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study found that synthetic cooling agents were present in e-cigarettes sold in the US, including both mint-and-menthol flavored products and fruit- and candy-flavored products. Researchers state that these synthetic cooling agents may be used a replacement for menthol and to bypass regulations on menthol in tobacco products.
- Learn more about menthol tobacco products.
- Flavoured Tobacco Sales Restrictions Reduce Tobacco Product Availability and Retailer Advertising, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- Across San Francisco and Alameda Counties in California between 2015-2020 availability of flavored tobacco products decreased by 96% in cities that enacted comprehensive flavored tobacco sales restrictions, by 62.7% in cities that enacted partially restrictive policies, and by 13.6% reduction in cities without any restrictions. In addition, exterior store advertising for tobacco products decreased overall in cities with restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products. This indicates that not only can flavored tobacco sales restrictions impact youth initiation by decreasing access to flavored products, but they can also reduce the amount of tobacco advertising that youth are exposed to in the retail setting.
- Learn more about restricting tobacco product availability.
- Anticipating IQOS market expansion in the United States, Tobacco Prevention & Cessation
- While IQOS sales in the US are on hold due to a patent lawsuit, the heated tobacco products were previously introduced in Atlanta and Buford, GA; Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; and Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC. Altria expects to be able to resume sales at some point in the near future. When that happens, researchers expect that the company will target the markets in the cities of Nashville, TN; St. Louis, MN; and Louisville, KY for expansion based on market size, median household income, consumer spending, smoking prevalence, and lenient tobacco control environments.
- Learn more about heated tobacco products at the point of sale.
- Special communication: Moving targets: how the rapidly changing tobacco and nicotine landscape creates advertising and promotion policy challenges, Tobacco Control
- “This paper reviews recent commercial product offerings and the regulatory challenges associated with them. This includes electronic nicotine delivery systems, electronic non-nicotine delivery systems, personal vaporisers, heated tobacco products, nicotine salts, tobacco-free nicotine products, other nicotine products resembling nicotine replacement therapies, and various vitamin and cannabis products that share delivery devices or marketing channels with tobacco products….Tobacco control policy often lags behind the evolution of the industry, which may continue to sell these products for years while regulations are established, refined or enforced. Policies that anticipate commercial tobacco, nicotine and related product and marketing changes and that are broad enough to cover these product developments are needed.”
- Special communication: Prohibition no, abolition yes! Rethinking how we talk about ending the cigarette epidemic, Tobacco Control
- This article proposes that public health advocates shift to using the term “abolition” rather than “prohibition” to talk about ending the sale of cigarettes to avoid feeding into the tobacco industry’s narrative comparing it to alcohol prohibition and instead focus on human health and freedom.
- Special communication: Retail endgame strategies: reduce tobacco availability and visibility and promote health equity, Tobacco Control
- This article discusses “endgame” strategies that reduce retail availability (e.g. ending the sale of commercial tobacco products; limiting the number, location, and/or type of stores that can sell tobacco; setting a minimum distance between tobacco retailers) and reduce visibility (e.g. point-of-sale display bans), as well as how these strategies can reduce inequities in burden of tobacco.
- News story: Experts in Tobacco Control Discuss Endgame Strategies to Reduce Smoking Prevalence Equitably, OU Health
- Learn more about the commercial tobacco endgame.
- Addressing lower-priced cigarette products through three-pronged comprehensive regulation on excise taxes, minimum price policies and restrictions on price promotions, Tobacco Control
- Researchers argue that, “raising excise taxes will be more effective in reducing the persistence of lower-priced products and income-based smoking disparities when taxes are designed to raise prices frequently and substantially for all products and are combined with (a) minimum price laws and (b) bans on coupons, discounts and other promotion.”
- Learn more about point of sale pricing policies.
- Success from failure: US federal commercial tobacco regulation, Tobacco Control
- This article summarizes how the current federal regulatory structure for tobacco products has been shaped over the past 30 years and the potential role the Citizen Petition can play in FDA regulation of tobacco products going forward.
- Packaging characteristics of top-selling cigars in the United States, 2018, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- Researchers found that, “Cigar packaging features such as small pack sizes, innovative materials, flavor names, bright colors, and cost-saving promotions are prevalent among the top-selling products. Stronger packaging-focused policies at the federal and local levels may help reduce appeal and potentially curb cigar use.”
- Addressing Tobacco Use in Black Communities, American Lung Association
- Premium Cigars: Patterns of Use, Marketing, and Health Effects, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
- Marketing of “Tobacco-Free” and “Synthetic Nicotine” Products, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising
POS Policy in the Media
Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products
- [MN] Minnesota advocates push to end sale of flavored tobacco products, expand smoking cessation programs, KARE 11
- [CA] Santa Ana choses to ban sale of flavored tobacco products, LA Times
- [IL] Legislation would ban flavored tobacco, vapes in Illinois, Journal Courier
- [CA] Monterey County Board of Supervisors to ban flavored tobacco sales, KION
- [CA] Reynolds Loses Challenge to Los Angeles Tobacco Flavor Ban, Bloomberg Law
- Puff Bar, Other E-Cigarette Makers to Get More Scrutiny Under Spending Bill, Wall Street Journal
- Three States Have Bills to Ban Synthetic Nicotine by Stealth, Filter
- A Small Policy Change Could Transform the U.S. Vaping Industry, TIME
- The FDA Has 120 Days to Regulate Synthetic Nicotine. That’s Impossible., Filter Mag
- The Loophole That’s Fueling a Return to Teenage Vaping, New York Times
- [ID] Bill raising legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 passes Senate, Moscow-Pullman Daily News
- [KS] Kansas House wants age limit to tobacco, vaping at 21, Associated Press
- Walmart to stop selling cigarettes in some stores, CNN
- Introduce price cap on cigarettes to reduce smoking, new study finds, Medical Xpress
- The FDA authorizes more e-cigarette products, but there’s still no ruling on menthol and other kid-friendly nicotine products, CNN
- [WV] Charleston City Council to consider zoning restrictions on vape/smoke shops, Charleston Gazette-Mail
- Denmark considers permanent ban on cigarette sales for people born after 2010, The Local
- [FL] Hold companies, stores accountable for how they promote tobacco products to young people, Gainesville Sun
- [FL] Alachua County should seek new ways to stop underage sales of tobacco, nicotine products, Gainesville Sun
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!