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!
- Beyond excise taxes: a systematic review of literature on non-tax policy approaches to raising tobacco product prices, Tobacco Control
- This review highlights innovative ways to raise the price of tobacco products other than using excise taxes, including restrictions on price promotions and minimum price laws.
- Learn more about raising tobacco prices through non-tax approaches.
- Effect of price changes in little cigars and cigarettes on little cigar sales: USA, Q4 2011-Q4 2013, Tobacco Control
- This study found that a 10% increase in price was associated with a 25% decrease in sales for little cigars in convenience stores alone, and a 31.7% decrease in convenience stores sales and sales at food, drug, and mass merchandisers combined. The study also found that an increase in cigarette prices resulted in an increase in little cigar sales. This change in sales indicates that consumers may be avoiding the higher cost of cigarettes by switching to cheaper little cigars. Equalizing the price of little cigars and cigarettes may help reduce consumption and encourage price-sensitive users to quit.
- Learn more about policies that raise tobacco prices through non-tax approaches.\
Cigars, Cigarillos, and Little Cigars
- Point-of-Sale tobacco marketing in rural and urban Ohio: could the new landscape of Tobacco products widen inequalities? Preventive Medicine
- This study examined tobacco advertising on the exterior of tobacco retailers in rural and urban Ohio and found a higher prevalence of ads for cigarillos, cigars, and e-cigarettes in African American communities. Additionally, cigarillo advertising was more likely in disadvantaged and urban communities. Urban, disadvantaged, African-American communities had advertisements for more types of tobacco products overall. The tobacco industry has historically marketed menthol cigarettes to similar vulnerable populations. These findings suggest that the tobacco industry is continuing to market contemporary products like cigarillos and e-cigarettes in ways that disproportionately target urban, disadvantaged, and African-American communities.
- Learn more about disparities in point-of-sale advertising.
- Research letter: A cigar by any other name would taste as sweet, Tobacco Control
- Researchers tracked cigar sales between 2008 and 2014 by flavor categories. Flavored cigars accounted for over half of cigar sales. However, the number of fruit flavors is declining, while “other” flavors (e.g. “Jazz,” “Golden,” and “Royale”) are on the rise, which the authors suggest may be part of a tobacco industry attempt to avoid characterizing flavor descriptors in the case of a ban on flavored cigars.
- Learn more about the FDA Tobacco Control Act and POS and the proposed deeming regulation, which could affect how cigars are regulated.
- Individual, Parental, and Environmental Correlates of Cigar, Cigarillo, and Little Cigar Use Among Middle School Adolescents, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- In addition to individual and familial factors, this study found that use of cigar, cigarillo, and little cigars among 7th and 8th graders is associated with more frequent visits to corner stores where they may be exposed to increased retail tobacco advertising and products. 7th and 8th graders were 1.43 times as likely to use cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars if they visited a corner store once per week, 2.12 times as likely if they visited a corner store twice per week and 2.61 times as likely if they visited a corner store 3 or 4 times per week compared to those who did not.
- Learn more about why retail tobacco control is important.
- Special Issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Table of Contents
- Editorial: E-Cigarettes: Introducing New Complexities and Controversies to the Field of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- The Impact of Flavor Descriptors on Nonsmoking Teens’ and Adult Smokers’ Interest in Electronic Cigarettes, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study, supported by e-cigarette maker NJOY, found low interest in flavored e-cigarettes among non-smoking teens and slightly higher interest among adults.
- E-Cigarette Market Trends in Traditional U.S. Retail Channels, 2012–2013,Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study found that e-cigarette sales more than doubled between 2012 and 2013. Sales at convenience stores were the highest and Blu was the best-selling brand. While unflavored and menthol cigarettes dominated the market, fruit and other flavors gained market share during the study period. Sales of disposable e-cigarettes increased at a much higher rate than sales of refills or starter kits.
- Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale and share your thoughts with us!
- Retailer opinions about and compliance with family smoking prevention and tobacco control act point of sale provisions: a survey of tobacco retailers, BMC Public Health
- This study found that retailers who reported more barriers to complying with the FDA POS regulations and retailers who had lower levels of support for the POS provisions were more likely to be non-compliant. Over 90% of retailers supported provisions restricting minor’s access to tobacco, 59% supported graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, 43% supported graphic warning on in-store ads, over 40% supported restrictions on promotion, and 17% supported a potential ban on menthol cigarettes. Helping retailers address and overcome barriers as well as conducting direct outreach, education, and media campaigns to increase support for these POS provisions could result in higher levels of compliance.
- Point-of-Sale Cigarette Marketing, Urge to Buy Cigarettes, and Impulse Purchases of Cigarettes: Results from a Population-Based Survey, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study found that greater exposure to any brand of cigarettes, in addition to a smoker’s regular brand, were associated with more frequent urges to buy and more frequent impulse purchases of cigarettes.
- Neighborhood Inequalities in Retailers’ Compliance With the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, January 2014-July 2014, Preventing Chronic Disease
- This study found that noncompliance rates among retailers differed by neighborhood characteristics. For instance, illegal sales of single cigarettes were more likely in neighborhoods with high proportions of black, young, or low-income residents, and illegal self-service displays were more likely in neighborhoods with high proportions of black and Latino residents. The authors suggest targeted approaches to FDA retailer inspections and education campaigns to address noncompliance in these particular neighborhoods.
- Learn more about the point of sale provisions of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
- Frequency of Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students – United States, 2014, CDC MMWR
- Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students – United States, 2014, CDC MMWR
- Press Release: 7 in 10 students who currently use tobacco used a flavored product, CDC
- News Story: Flavored Tobacco Lures Kids, CDC Says, NBC News
- FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Investigational Tobacco Products, CSP Daily News
- Pending Federal Legislation on Tobacco Issues, Tobacco E-News
- Japan Tobacco Buys International Rights to Natural American Spirit, New York Times
- Tobacco Companies Revive Suit Against FDA Over Packaging, Wall Street Journal
- Reynolds, Santa Fe face organic tobacco lawsuit, Winston-Salem Journal
POS Policy in the Media
- National Tobacco Age 21? 10 Senators Seek to Treat Cigarettes like Alcohol, US News & World Report
- Grandview Heights City Council Votes to Raise Tobacco Age to 21, 10TV
- California lawmakers fail to act on several anti-tobacco bills, LA Times
- F.D.A. Bans Sales of 4 Cigarette Products by R.J.Reynolds, New York Times
- FDA launches ‘Fresh Empire’ anti-smoking campaign aimed at ‘hip-hop’ youth, US News & World Report
- FDA Proposes Amending the Definition of “Intended Use,” National Law Review
- Mass. bans e-cig sales to minors, standardizes rules, USA Today
- End of summer marks missed deadline for e-cig rules, health group says, The Hill
- Chicago e-cigarette tax more about kids than money, Chicago Tribune
- U.S. states urge FDA to ensure warnings on liquid nicotine products, Reuters
- [Ireland] E-cigarettes must not be marketed to under-19s under new ad guidelines, Herald.ie
Licensing and Zoning:
- Berkeley council votes to place new restrictions on sale of tobacco products, Contra Costa Times
- El Cerrito enacts stringent rules on tobacco sales, Contra Costa Times
- Sell tobacco products in Multnomah County? Get ready to pay (Interactive data), OregonLive
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!