News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, Non-Tax Price Increases, Price Promotions, Tobacco21

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 

  • Raising the Legal Age of Tobacco Sales, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
    • A nationally representative telephone survey showed that nearly two-thirds of people in the US support raising the minimum age for sales of cigarettes. Support for raising the age to 21 was higher than support for raising the age to 19 or 20. Support was high across all US regions, ranging from 59.6% to 73.1%. Race, age, and trust in government partially predicted support – participants who were older than 21, non-white, or who had higher trust in government were more likely to support the policy.
  • Minimum Ages of Legal Access for Tobacco in the United States From 1863 to 2015, American Journal of Public Health
    • An examination of historical minimum age of legal access laws in the US and a review of internal tobacco industry documents and newspaper archives from 1860 to 2014 shows that minimum age laws for tobacco first appeared around the 1880s, and by the 1920s, at least one third of all states had set the minimum age at 21 years old. Since 1920, the tobacco industry lobbied aggressively to lower the minimum age. Today, as the Tobacco 21 movement is gaining steam, tobacco companies are lobbying against it.
  • Learn more about raising the minimum legal sale age to 21.

Pricing and Promotions

  • Cigarette couponing goes mobileTobacco Controlspot_you_more
    • Altria and Reynolds American have started offering digital coupons (e.g. $1.50 off one pack) that users can redeem using a smartphone.  This introduction of digital coupons was associated with a 5% increase in sales of Camel cigarettes. The authors suggest it may be a new way for tobacco companies to effectively reach millennials, and laws that restrict tobacco marketing may need to be updated to account for mobile and digital marketing. Learn more about restricting tobacco advertising and promotions.
  • Tobacco Pricing in Military Stores: Views of Military Policy LeadersNicotine & Tobacco Research
    • This study interviewed military leaders, military members, and civilians. Most respondents reported that cigarette prices in military stores were as cheap or cheaper than the lowest prices found in the community outside the base. Participants’ knowledge of how prices policies were set, implemented, and enforced was limited and mixed, as was their knowledge of how price effects tobacco use. While many supported the idea of banning tobacco sales in military stores, they were not optimistic about the likelihood that such a policy could be established due to barriers including tobacco industry influences in Congress, and the potential lost profit that supports Morale, Welfare, and Recreation funds. Learn more about non-tax approaches to raising tobacco prices.

Evaluation and Store Assessments

  • CT_1_watermark_PPLongitudinal Trends in Tobacco Availability, Tobacco Advertising, and Ownership Changes of Food Stores, Albany, New York, 2003-2015,Preventing Chronic Disease
    • The percentage of food stores also selling tobacco in Albany, NY declined to 74.5% in 2015 from its peak at 83.8% in 2009.  Indoor advertising also peaked in 2009 at 76.1% and declined to 65.0% in 2015, including declines in low (<3 feet) tobacco advertising. This decline can be explained in part by local tobacco control efforts, the pharmacy industry’s self-regulation of tobacco sales, and an increase in New York State’s retailer licensing fee. While pharmacy sales declined, dollar store sales increased, and convenience stores and supermarket sales remained high. The number of stores selling tobacco increased at a greater pace in minority neighborhoods. Given that stores going out of business was one of the largest reasons for a decline in tobacco retailers, the researchers suggest that a moratorium on new licenses may be an effective strategy to further reduce tobacco availability and advertising.
  • Young people’s exposure to point-of-sale tobacco products and promotions, Public Health
    • This paper describes a method for accurately measuring point of sale tobacco displays. The researchers conducted store observations in four Scottish communities in 2013, prior to Scotland’s point of sale tobacco display ban. They found tobacco displays were prominent and often visible from outside. In 70% of stores, tobacco products were displays near candy and other youth appealing products. A survey of students in those communities found that 80% of students recalled seeing tobacco displays. Tobacco display units were larger in more deprived areas and students from these areas were more likely to recall seeing the tobacco displays. This data will be used to evaluate Scotland’s point of sale tobacco display ban.
  • Implementation of a Multimodal Mobile System for Point-of-Sale Surveillance: Lessons Learned from Case Studies in Washington, DC, and New York City, JMIR Public Health Surveillance

New Reports 

Industry News 

POS Policy in the Media

TFNYS infographicLicensing

Tobacco 21


Find more stories in last month’s News and Research Roundup.

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