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!
Store Assessments and the Tobacco Retail Policy Landscape
- Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings (STARS): dissemination and implementation research, Tobacco Control
- This paper describes how STARS was developed and how it has been used to date. At the time of the study, 34 states had used or planned to use STARS, and all STARS measures were found to have high or moderate reliability. The paper also provides examples of how states have used STARS to inform policy change.
- Learn more about STARS and download the tool here.
- Tobacco retail policy landscape: a longitudinal survey of US states, Tobacco Control
- A longitudinal survey of state tobacco control programs’ retail (point of sale) policy activity revealed that point of sale policy activity doubled between 2012 and 2014. Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, Maine, and West Virginia had the largest increases in activity. The study also suggests that state and local tobacco control programs need increased capacity in order to promote evidence-based policies.
- Learn more in the POS Report to the Nation.
Non-Tax Price Policy
- Comparing projected impacts of cigarette floor price and excise tax policies on socioeconomic disparities in smoking, Tobacco Control
- Researchers project that minimum price laws (MPLSs) with floor prices set at or above the average state price would raise prices by $0.33 and could reduce disparities in the prices that low-income smokers pay for cigarettes compared to high-income smokers to a greater degree than comparable excise taxes. Researchers also project that MPLs set at this level would also reduce cigarette consumption by 4%, while an excise tax that sets price at the same level would reduce consumption by only 2.3%. Following the same model, MPLs that raise prices by more than $2.00 would reduce consumption by 15.9%, while a tax with a similar price effect would reduce consumption by only 13.5%.
- Learn more about minimum price laws and other non-tax price policies.
- Do state minimum markup/price laws work? Evidence from retail scanner data and TUS-CPS, Tobacco Control
- The study compared cigarette prices across states with and without minimum price laws or minimum markup laws. Minimum price laws were associated with cigarette prices that were 3-11% higher than in states without such laws. Prices were also about 30 cents higher in states where the MPLs prohibited coupons, competitor price matching, use of below-cost combination sales, and trade discounts. States with higher markup rates (>24%) also had significantly higher cigarette prices.
- This paper details how strong partnerships, substantial local data, and support from both the public and elected officials were key to overcoming challenges when passing and implementing NYC’s Tobacco 21 and Sensible Tobacco Enforcement laws
- Learn more about NYC’s Sensible Tobacco Enforcement and Tobacco 21.
- Promotions on Newport and Marlboro Cigarette Packages: A National Study, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study compared exterior and interior pack promotions on Marlboro Red and Newport Green cigarettes sold at a national sample (n=2147) of tobacco retailers. They found that 31.7% of Marlboro packs had promotions compared to 14.7% of Newports. Most of the exterior promotions on both types of packs were for contests. While no Newport packs had interior promotions, nearly all of the Marlboro interior promotions were for price discounts.
- Learn more about price discounts and policy options to counteract them.
Flavored Tobacco Products
- Association between use of flavoured tobacco products and quit behavior: findings from a cross-sectional survey of US adult tobacco users, Tobacco Control
- This study surveyed tobacco users about their use of different tobacco products and their quit attempts. Survey respondents who first used a flavored tobacco product were 55% more likely to be a current tobacco user. Polytobacco users were twice as likely to be current flavored tobacco users. Current non-cigarette tobacco users who used at least one flavored tobacco product were less likely to have tried to quit within the last year.
- Changes in the prevalence and correlates of menthol cigarette use in the USA, 2004-2014, Tobacco Control
- While overall smoking rates have decreased over the past decade, the proportion of current (past 30 days) cigarette smokers who use menthol cigarettes increased from 35% in 2008-2010 to 39% in 2012-2014. Young smokers are still the group most likely to use menthol cigarettes, with more young smokers using menthol products that non-menthol products. The prevalence of menthol cigarette use has also increased among white, Asian, and Hispanic smokers since 2010.
- Learn more about flavored tobacco products.
- State-Specific Prevalence of Current Cigarette Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Adults – United States, 2014, CDC MMWR
- A Natural OTP Opportunity, CSP Daily News
- Graphic Warning Lawsuit Filed, CSP Daily News
- NJOY Bankruptcy a Symptom of Larger Challenge, CSP Daily News
- Phillip Morris’s Cigarette Alternative Could Hit U.S. in 2017, Bloomberg Technology
POS Policy in the Media
- Liberty City Council Votes for Tobacco 21 Initiative, City Codes, Liberty Tribune
- Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco in Hamilton Raised to 21, Hamilton Patch
- Highland Park Raises Smoking Age to 21, Highland Park Patch
- If California’s 21-and-up smoking law lives up to be a ‘life-saving measure,’ other places could follow, Los Angeles Times
Flavored Tobacco Restrictions
- Marion Preparing to Take On Big Tobacco, Wanderer
- Don’t let Big Tobacco sweet-talk our children, Cape Code Times
- For less toxic e-cigarettes, skip the strawberry, Reuters
- County supervisors OK ban on flavored tobacco sales, David Enterprise
- White House weighs rule on cancer causing chemical in chewing tobacco, The Hill
- Groups sue FDA for graphic warning labels on cigarettes, The Hill
- FDA rule on tobacco products under final review, The Hill
- Philadelphia’s tougher regulation of tobacco sales to start Jan. 1, WHYY
- Williston ordinance would treat vape shops like cigarette sellers, Willison Herald
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!