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 Pricing Policies
- Cumulative exposure to e-cigarette coupons and changes in e-cigarette use among US adults, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
- This 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.
- 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
- A systematic review for the impacts of global approaches to regulating electronic nicotine products, Journal of Global Health
- This systematic review of studies on regulations for e-cigarettes found that flavor restrictions significantly decreased youth use while taxation decreased adult use. The researchers also conclude that other regulations “need powerful enforcement and meaningful penalties to ensure effectiveness.”
- How do underage youth access e-cigarettes in settings with minimum age sales restriction laws? A scoping review, BMC Public Health
- This scoping review found that across published literature, research has shown that social sources are the most common way youth obtain e-cigarettes, though there are major gaps in understanding about social supply routes. The research also shows that youth also still get e-cigarettes from in-person retailers, most often from vape shops, and that this is more prevalent than online purchasing.
- Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
- 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.
- 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
- FDA Could Take Stronger Enforcement Action Against Tobacco Retailers With Histories of Sales to Youth and Other Violations, DHHS Office of Inspector General
- Premier to Launch New Tobacco-Free Nicotine Pouch NIC-S, CSP Daily News
- Vuse remains top US e-cigarette, but market share dips slightly, Winston-Salem Journal
- Exclusive: Philip Morris hires U.S. lobbyists as key IQOS launch nears, Reuters
POS Policy in the Media
Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density
- [CA] Temecula tightens tobacco rules; smoking ban up for discussion, Patch.com
- [IL] Peoria City Council to consider new regulations regarding tobacco store licenses, Central Illinois Proud
- [OH] Lorain Council discusses tobacco licensing, The Chronicle
- [OH] Brunswick looks to put breaks on new cigarette and vaping sales, WKYC
- [OH] Fairfield debates tobacco, vape retailer regulations, Journal-News
- [NY] Syracuse Mayor Walsh signs new law restricting tobacco product retailers, Syracuse.com
Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions
- [OH] Grandview Heights bans sale of flavored tobacco and vape products, WOSU
- [OR] Judge dismisses lawsuit against Multnomah County’s ban on flavored tobacco products, OPB
- FDA says it will finalize ban on menthol tobacco products ‘ in coming months,’ CNN
- Big Tobacco has abused Black lives for far too long. The FDA can help by ending the scourge of menthol, The Grio
- FDA must do more to penalize retailers that illegally sell tobacco to kids, government review finds, CNN
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!