October 2018 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, Displays/Display Ban, E-Cigarettes, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Product Placement, Stores Near Schools, Vape Shops, Youth

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!

New Research

Point-of-Sale Advertising

  • Convenience store visitors recall cigarette advertisements even if they do not purchase cigarettes, Journal of Public Health
    • This study surveyed over 1000 visitors to three convenience stores in Seoul, Korea as they exited the stores. While only 23.4% of participants recalled seeing an advertisement for cigarettes in the store they just visited, 55.2% could pick the advertisement out correctly as one that was present in the store from a card of options. Those who could recall the advertisement without a cue were younger, visited convenience stores more times per week, and were more likely to be current smokers. Free recall was also associated with a more positive attitude towards cigarette advertisements. This study indicates that individuals who are exposed to tobacco advertisements may unconsciously store the information, and repeated exposure to the advertisements may help maintain positive attitudes towards them, even when individuals do not remember the content of the ads.
    • Learn more about restricting tobacco advertising.
  • Child awareness of and access to cigarettes: impact of the point-of-sale display ban in England, Tobacco Control
    • When England implemented a policy that banned the display of tobacco products in small shops (2012) 89.9% of children aged 11-15 years old reported seeing displays of cigarettes. That decreased to 86% after a display ban in all stores was implemented in 2015, and the percentage of children who reported buying cigarettes from a store as their regular source decreased from 57% in 2010 to 39.8% in 2016. However, the perception of ease of obtaining cigarettes did not change significantly among children that same age, nor did the percentage of regular child smokers who reported being refused the sale of cigarettes at their last attempt (31.2%). This indicates that while display bans do reduce exposure to tobacco products, enforcement of age-of-sale laws and tobacco retailer licensing schemes may help further reduce youth access to tobacco products.
    • Learn more about restricting product placement and displays.
  • The magnitude and impact of tobacco marketing exposure in adolescents’ day-to-day lives: An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study, Addictive Behaviors
    • This study assessed real-time exposure to tobacco marketing via a smartphone-based survey with prompts 2-3 times a day. The participants, adolescent males ages 11-16 from both rural and urban Ohio, reported exposure to tobacco marketing an average of 1.9 times over a 10-day period. Participants were most frequently exposed to tobacco advertising at the point of sale, most often at convenience stores or gas stations. Those who were current tobacco users and those who live in rural areas both reported higher levels of exposure to tobacco marketing. In addition, those who reported greater exposure to tobacco advertising had more positive attitudes about tobacco advertising, higher rates of tobacco use, and were more likely to report that they would use tobacco products in the future.

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco

  • No surge in illicit cigarettes after implementation of menthol ban in Nova Scotia, Tobacco Control
    • When the Canadian province of Nova Scotia banned the sale of menthol cigarettes in 2015, the tobacco industry warned of an increase in black market. However, the number of illicit cigarettes seized actually declined significantly from 2007/2008 to 2017/2018 and the volume seized remained stable after implementation of the ban with enforcement efforts remaining at the same level.
    • Learn more about menthol tobacco products. 
  • Flavour capsule cigarette use among US adult cigarette smokers, Tobacco Control
    • Flavor capsule cigarettes contain a crushable capsule located in or near the filter that releases flavoring when crushed. Menthol flavored capsules are the most common and are the only ones allowed in the United States. This study analyzing data from the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health survey from 2013-2014 found that usual use of flavor capsule cigarettes was most common among young adults (9.4% of smokers ages 18-24), and Hispanic young adults in particular (17.3% of Hispanic smokers ages 18-24). Those who used flavor capsules were also more likely to smoke less often, have started smoking later in life, and be less nicotine-dependent Those who used flavor capsule cigarettes also indicated that pack design and lower price were some of their reasons for using the product. These findings indicate that tobacco companies may be marketing capsule cigarettes as starter products.
    • Learn more about flavored tobacco products.


Sugar and Sweetness in Tobacco Products

Industry News 

POS Policy in the Media 

Tobacco 21

Flavored Tobacco




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!


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