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March Newsletter

New Paper and Video on Conducting Store Observations 
Store observations, also called store assessments or store audits, are a way to collect data about what is happening at stores in your community. You can then use this information to educate the public, policymakers, and youth about the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing tactics. Knowing what’s happening is critical to awareness and advocacy efforts, as the tobacco industry now spends over $1 million dollars an hour, and over 90% of its marketing expenditures in the retail setting.

new paper published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease details the steps involved in conducting store observations of tobacco marketing and products, highlights issues that may arise in the field, provides information on disseminating the results of store observations, and provides information on potential policy solutions.
As detailed in the article, steps involved in store observation include:
  1. Obtaining tobacco product retailer lists
  2. Creating measures
  3. Selecting a mode of data collection (learn more about store observation tools, such as STARS, here)
  4. Training data collectors
  5. Analyzing data
The full article is available publicly here.

As part of the ASPiRE study (Advancing Science and Policy in the Retail Environment) and the State and Community Tobacco Control Initiative created a video on Conducting Store Observations for Tobacco Control. View it here

More News, Research, and Resources's latest "News and Research Roundup," a monthly summary of the latest POS research, reports, and policy news is out.  Highlights:
Tobacco 21 News 

One of our "Top 5 POS Trends to Watch in 2016": Tobacco 21 continues to gain momentum and spread across the country. So far, looks like that's the case! This month, new statewide proposals were introduced in ConnecticutIllinoisNew Jersey, Rhode Island, and Utah. California's bill to raise the age to 21 has now passed both the Assembly and the Senate, and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk! Cities that have raised the minimum legal sale age to 21 in the past month include: 
New Research
While an immediate decline in smoking rates was not seen following the partial display ban, current smoking rates did decline by 5% over the study period with a sharper decline in the time period after the partial display was implemented. This decline was also steeper among individuals with manual occupations and could not be accounted for by other trends such as e-cigarette use or price changes. Researchers suggest that the partial display ban removes a cue to smoke by removing the advertising, and therefore helps smokers who are trying to quit to avoid relapse. A larger effect may also be seen with a full display ban. Learn more about display bans and other policies that restrict product placement
In 2009, New York City banned the sale of all flavored tobacco (including cigars, cigarillos, little cigars, chew, snuff, snus, tobacco, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and dissolvables, excluding menthol). Enforcement began in 2010, and researchers found that three years later, sales of flavored tobacco products declined by 87%, and sales of non-flavored tobacco only increased for cigars (by 5%) and pipe and roll-your-own (by 4%). Additionally, in 2013, teens had a 37% lower likelihood of ever trying flavored tobacco products, and a 28% lower likelihood of using any type of tobacco product. Learn more about restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products
A study of local laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco in pharmacies showed that overtime, such bans resulted in 1.44 to 3.18 times greater reduction in density than in cities without bans. Learn more about Tobacco Free Pharmacies.

Integrating Tobacco Control and Obesity Prevention Initiatives at Retail OutletsPreventing Chronic Disease
This article describes interdisciplinary strategies to transition retailers away from selling and promoting tobacco products and toward creating retail environments that promote health. 
Story from the Field
EHS TFAC Videos 2016
The Tobacco Marketing Education and Awareness Video Projecta joint project between Tobacco Free Action Communities (TFAC) of Ulster, Dutchess, and Sullivan Counties in New York State along with the Ellenville High School Media Arts program, was inspired by the January 1st enactment of Ulster County, NY's new law requiring a local license to sell tobacco and prohibiting new tobacco retailers from operating within 1000 feet of schools.Tobacco Free Action Communities (TFAC) of Ulster, Dutchess, and Sullivan Counties collaborated with the Media Arts production class at the high school to create the educational videos on how tobacco marketing influences youth smoking. 

The videos are intended to educate the community on how in-store tobacco marketing is a leading cause of youth smoking. They will be aired on the local public access TV station to educate Ulster County residents about tobacco point of sale marketing and will also be used in TFAC’s educational programs. New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control funds TFAC to increase support for New York State’s tobacco-free norm through youth action and community engagement. Ellenville High School Media Arts students will be recognized by the Ulster County Legislature on March 15, with the “Pride of Ulster” Award for their contributions. Watch their award-winning videos here.
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