September 2023 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, Endgame, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Minimum pack size, Minimum price, Non-Tax Price Increases, Price Promotions, Product Availability, Tobacco21, Youth

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

Point of Sale Pricing Policies 

  • Cumulative exposure to e-cigarette coupons and changes in e-cigarette use among US adults, American Journal of Preventive Medicine 
    • advertisement at gas pump for $3 off JuulThis study analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study collected between October 2014 – November 2019 and found that people who had never used e-cigarettes and received coupons were more likely to initiate e-cigarette use, people who currently used e-cigarettes were less likely to quit if they received coupons, and people who had previously quit using e-cigarettes were more likely to return to use if they received coupons.
    • Learn more about banning coupon redemption and other point of sale pricing policies
  • How cigarette excise tax pass-through to prices responds to the uptake and evolution of e-cigarettes (ECs), Tobacco Control 
    • This study found that cigarette excise tax pass-through rates (the degree to which cigarette excise taxes were passed on to consumers in the form of increased prices) were lower for lower priced cigarettes and lower in states with lower tax levels. They also found that after the evolution of nicotine salt-based e-cigarettes, cigarette tax pass through rates  were higher on moderate priced cigarettes. The researchers suggest that both continuing to raise cigarette taxes and other pricing policies such as prohibition price discounts and promotions are important to raising retail prices and encouraging people who smoke to quit. The researchers suggest that the increased prices on moderate-priced cigarettes may encourage people who smoke those cigarettes to consider e-cigarettes as alternatives.
  • The impact of modest price increases and single cigar restrictions on youth cigar use, American Journal of Preventive Medicine 
    • This study analyzing data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 1999-2019 found that following Boston’s 2011 policy requiring cigars to be sold in packs of at least 4 or for at least $2.50 per cigar, youth were less likely to use cigars. After Boston passed their cigar restrictions, nearly 200 other localities across the state passed similar policies, and the researchers also found decreases in youth cigar use statewide. This shows that requiring cigars to be sold in larger packs and for higher prices can help prevent youth cigar use. 
    • Learn more about point of sale pricing policies

Flavor Bans 

  • Assessing the Impact of the Massachusetts Temporary Flavor Ban on Licensed Tobacco Retailers, Tobacco Use Insights 
    • The state of Massachusetts temporarily banned the sale of all e-cigarettes between September 2019 and January 2020 in response to the E-Cigarette, or Vaping Product, Use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) cases. In November 2019, the state banned the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and that law took effect on June 1, 2020. This study found that after the ban went into effect (between October 2020 – August 2021) new tobacco retail licenses decreased by 52.9% compared to the year before the ban (October 2018-August 2019), the total number of licenses also decreased by 5.8%, there was a 9.5% increase in license renewals. This suggests that the ban may have decreased the number of tobacco retailers by discouraging new retailers from opening rather than impacting existing businesses. However, areas in the state with higher proportions of male and Hispanic populations saw increases in new tobacco retail licenses 

E-Cigarette Regulation

Tobacco 21 

  • Strengthening Tobacco 21 implementation and enforcement to reduce tobacco-related health disparities: A stakeholder engagement project, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
    • This qualitative study followed the CDC Tobacco 21 policy evaluation guidance and engaged stakeholders across the country in focus groups to assess the implementation, enforcement, and equity implications of the federal law raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21. They found that barriers to effective implementation and enforcement include a lack of state tobacco retailer licensing, a lack of resources to cover all retailers, and insufficient penalties for retailers that violate the law. They noted that enforcement is also a challenge at vape shops, which sometimes are not on the same lists as other tobacco retailers; concerns about inequitable impacts of purchase, use, and possession provisions in T21 laws; and a need for greater alignment of federal, state, and local age of sale laws. 
    • Learn more about best practices for Tobacco 21 laws

Endgame Policies

  • Retailer experiences with tobacco sales bans: lessons from two early adopter jurisdictions, Tobacco Control 
    • In this study, researchers interviewed owners or managers of businesses that formerly sold tobacco products in Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach, CA, the first two U.S. cities to ban the sale of tobacco products. They found that while larger chain stores experienced little impact on overall sales, small, independent retailers reported losses of revenue and customers. Researchers note that implementing similar tobacco sales bans in a wider geographic area and without exemptions may help minimize the impacts on small businesses and reduce opposition to the policies. 
    • Learn more about endgame policies. 

New Reports and Resources 

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density

Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions

Federal Regulation


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