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!
Point of Sale Tobacco Policy Evaluation
- Impact and equity of New York City’s tobacco retail reduction initiative, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
- In 2018, New York City implemented a policy capping the total number of tobacco retailers in each of the city’s 59 community districts at 50% of the number of tobacco licenses in operation in 2017 (excluding pharmacies, since the city banned the sale of tobacco in pharmacies beginning in 2019). This study found that the number of tobacco retailer licenses decreased from 9,204 in 2010 to 5,107 in 2022, and that the rate of decline increased after the retailer density limits were implemented from 14.2% pre-policy (2010-2017) to 34.2% post-policy (2018-2022). It also found that the declines in retailer density were greatest in districts with lower income and with a greater proportion of non-Hispanic Black residents, reducing disparities in tobacco retailer density across the city as well as overall density.
- News story: New York City’s tobacco retailer density policy mitigates longstanding neighborhood inequities in tobacco access, EurekAlert!
- Learn more about ways to limit tobacco retailer density and other point of sale policies that can support health equity.
- The Effects of State and Local Flavored Cigar Sales Restrictions, on Retail Sales of Large Cigars, Cigarillos, and Little Cigars in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and New York, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study analyzed retailer scanner data from Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and New York and policy data from the Truth Initiative flavor policy database to determine that a 25% increase in the percentage of the population covered by a policy restricting the sale of flavored cigars in these states was associated with a 15-19% decrease in sales of all cigars, a 4-10% decrease in sales of large cigars, a 17-21% decrease in sales for cigarillos, and a 2-41% decrease in sales for little cigars.
- Learn more: New study: Success of local flavored cigar sales restrictions underscores need for national regulations, Truth Initiative
- Changes in Sales of Vaping Products and Cigarettes Associated with the New York State Flavored Vaping Product Sales Restriction, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- In 2020, the state of New York implemented a ban on the sale of flavored vaping products. This study used scanner data to assess changes in tobacco product sales in New York compared to in California between June 2018 and June 2021. Researchers found that sales of both flavored vaping products and all vaping products decreased, each to a greater extent than in California. Meanwhile, unflavored vaping product sales increased and menthol cigarette sales did not change significantly in New York. The researchers conclude that New York’s policy had the intended effect of decreasing flavored vaping product access and sales, and while some consumers switched to unflavored vape products, they did not switch to cigarettes.
- Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
- Tobacco retailer density and smoking behavior: how are exposure and outcome measures classified? A systematic review, BMC Public Health
- This systematic review found that studies focusing on associations between tobacco retailer density and smoking behaviors use a wide range of different measures to operationalize density and smoking. They found that tobacco retailer density was most commonly measured “directly from geocoded locations using circular buffers at various distances,” and post-month smoking was the most common way to measure smoking. They recommend measuring tobacco retailer density through either “length-distance and travel time using the street network and weighted (e.g. by the size of an area), or by using Kernal Density Estimates” for greater accuracy, and they recommend using a standardized measure of smoking to allow for better comparisons across studies.
Point of Sale Tobacco Advertising
- Advertising Exposure from Online and Offline Sources and Youth Tobacco Use: Findings From the Adolescents, Place, and Behavior Study, Nicotine & Tobacco Research
- This study examined the association between exposure to tobacco advertising at tobacco retail outlets, on the internet, or on social media and ever tobacco use among adolescents ages 11-17 in Richmond, VA. Results showed that both exposure at tobacco retail outlets, especially convenience stores, and on social media were associated with ever tobacco use.
- Learn more about restricting tobacco advertising at the point of sale.
- Brief report: Characterising advertising strategies and expenditures for conventional and newer smokeless tobacco products, Tobacco Control
- Advertising data from January 2018 – April 2020 show that during that time period, $71 million was spent on promoting smokeless tobacco products, with 63% of that total spent on conventional smokeless tobacco products, 25% of newer oral nicotine products, and 12% on snus. However, from August 2019 – April 2020, spending on newer oral nicotine products accelerated, with most of the advertising dollars being spent on those products. Most of the advertising was also in the national market.
- Brief report: Nicotine pouch product awareness, interest, and ever use among US adults who smoke, 2021, Tobacco Control
- A population-based survey of US adults who smoke, conducted in early 2021, shows that 29.2% had seen or heard of nicotine pouches, 5.6% had ever tried them, and 16.8% reported interest in trying them in the next 6 months. Those who were most aware of nicotine pouches were ages 18-44 and those who had ever used conventional smokeless tobacco. Those who were most interested in using nicotine pouches were adults who planned to quit smoking within 6 months, had attempted to quit smoking before using counseling or another tobacco product, and who had ever used nicotine pouches. Those with higher levels of education were less likely to ever use nicotine pouches and those who had attempted to quit before using traditional methods or who had ever used conventional smokeless tobacco products were more likely to ever use nicotine pouches.
- Is tobacco a driver of footfall among small retailers? A geographical analysis of tobacco purchasing using electronic point of sale data, Tobacco Control
- This UK-based study found that tobacco shows that the number of transactions at small retailers that contain tobacco retailers decreased by 47%, the proportion of transactions with both tobacco and non-tobacco items decreased from 13.7% to 9.1%, whereas the proportion of transactions with only non-tobacco items increased from 75.7% to 84.7%,h showing the decline of tobacco as a driver of “footfall” or store traffic, and the declining importance of tobacco for convenience stores.
New Reports and Resources
- 2023 Update: Not Your Grandfather’s Cigar, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- 2023 Update: Deadly Alliance: How Big Tobacco and Convenience Stores Partner to Hook Kids and Fight Life-Saving Policies
- Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2022, Federal Trade Commission
- Federal Trade Commission Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2022, Federal Trade Commission
- PMI Launches Tobacco-Free Heat Stick, Tobacco Reporter
- Altria’s NJOY sues 34 e-vapor product makers, seeks damages, Reuters
POS Policy in the Media
Point of Sale Policy under State Preemption
- [HI] Honolulu Mayor signs bill to ban flavored tobacco, Honolulu Civil Beat
- [MI] Benton Harbor Commissioners vote to ban flavored tobacco sales, ABC 57
- [NC] Burlington mulls new regulations for vape shops and similar ventures, Alamance News
Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products
- FDA takes ‘momentous’ step toward banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, CNN
- As Menthol Ban Nears, Big Tobacco is Adding Synthetic Version to Cigarettes Instead, U.S. News
- [CA] The sale of flavored tobacco is illegal, but enforcement is slim, leaders say, San Diego Union-Tribune
- [CT] New Haven alders, store owners debate city ban on sale of menthol cigarettes, New Haven Register
- [IL] Ban on all flavored tobacco products gets initial council backing, Evanston Round Table
- [ME] Falmouth could ban sale of flavored tobacco products, News Center Maine
- [OH] Faith leaders lobby Cleveland City Council for bans on certain tobacco products, Ideastream Public Media
Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density
- [AR] North Little Rock puts restrictions on new vape shops, THV 11
- [AZ] Tempe raises age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 years old after unanimous vote, ABC 15
- [CA] Proposed ordinance could close most smoke shops in Fresno, ABC 30
- [CA] Vista sets tobacco retail license cap, Coast News
- [CA] Los Gatos updates tobacco ordinance to significantly increase fines for retailers, Mercury News
- [MN] Olmstead County to Vote on New Penalty for Tobacco Sale Violations, KROC News
- [OH] Brunswick creates new temporary moratorium on applications for stores that sell tobacco and vape products, Gazette
- [OH] New city ordinance limits number of vape and tobacco retailers, Kent Wired
Point of Sale Pricing Policies
- FDA Denies Marketing of Six Flavored Vuse Alto E-Cigarette Products Following Determination They Do Not Meet Public Health Standard, PR Newswire
- Elf Bar finds an easy way around US vape import ban: a name change, Associated Press
- 5 takeaways from the AP’s report on Chinese disposable e-cigarettes flooding the US market, Associated Press
- It’s one of the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws. The Maori see a major flaw, NPR
- Britain proposes ban on cigarettes for younger generations, Reuters
- Big Tobacco turns to rooibos tea to counter upcoming ban, Reuters
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!