This report shows how tobacco companies have enlisted convenience stores as their most important partners in marketing tobacco products and fighting policies that reduce tobacco use, thereby enticing kids to use tobacco, making it harder for users to quit, and harming the nation’s health. This update provides further evidence of the alliance between the tobacco industry and convenience stores, including their continued investments at the point of sale and their highly organized opposition to tobacco control policies.
The update includes new data, up-to-date scientific evidence on the impact of point-of-sale marketing, and recent examples of industry interference in the field. Learn more.
E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Surgeon General's Report
Over 50 years ago, in 1964, the Surgeon General announced with the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and that something should be done to prevent harm. This announcement served as a catalyst for tobacco control and research that has since prevented more than 8 million premature deaths. Earlier this month, Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA released the 33rd tobacco-related Surgeon General’s Report on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults, the first federal government review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes. Read highlights of the report here.
Three Minnesota cities have passed legislation setting a minimum price for cigars within recent years. In April 2014, the city of Brooklyn Center (a suburb of Minneapolis) adopted a policy that set the minimum price for a pack of 4 or fewer cigars at $2.10 per cigar. In August 2014, the city of St. Paul adopted a policy with the same language, and in May 2015, the city of Maplewood (a suburb of Saint Paul) adopted a policy that set a minimum price of $2.60 per cigar and $10.40 for packs of 4 or more cigars. Researchers conducted assessments of tobacco retailers in these cities between June 2013 and July 2015 and found high policy compliance post-implementation. In addition, the percentage of retailers across all three cities selling single cigars decreased from 80% to 46%, and the percentage of retailers selling 2- or 3-packs of cigars decreased from 74% to 52%. The policy resulted in an average price increase of $1.17 for single cigars in St. Paul and $1.27 in Maplewood. Similarly, the price of the cheapest 2-pack rose by $2.36 in St. Paul and by $3.08 in Maplewood.
Researchers identified vape shop location in two North Carolina counties through four online business listings (Google Maps, ReferenceUSA, YellowPages.com, and Yelp) as well as four vaping web sites (vapeabout.com, vaporsearchusa.com, vapestores.com, e-cigarette-store-reviews.com) for one county. They then used “ground truthing,” driving primary and secondary roads to validate their search results and identify additional stores. While their online searches identified 28 vape shops, only 16 were confirmed. The researchers indicate that due to the range in sensitivity of online searches (62.5%-81.3%) and positive predictive values (73.3% to 92.3%) states should consider licensing requirements for vape shops and tobacco retailers for tracking and compliance check purposes.
Policy News: Density and Retailer Reduction in Philly
The Philadelphia Board of Health voted this month to:
cap the number of tobacco retail outlets allowed in the city at 1 per 1000 people.
prohibit new tobacco retailers within 500 ft of schools
increase the annual fee for a tobacco license from $50 to $300
These new regulations will reduce the density of tobacco retailers, which is linked to high rates of both youth and adult tobacco use, as well as higher rates of tobacco use initiation among youth. The policy will also reduce disparities in retailer density across neighborhoods. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that currently some neighborhoods in North Philadelphia have three tobacco retailers for every 1000 persons. Recent research also shows that banning tobacco retailers near schools can reduce or eliminate disparities in density as well. Read more.
Media and Awareness Campaign Opportunities
This month, the Truth Initiative launched a new project with DoSomething.org and actress Kira Kosarin of Nickolodeon’s “The Thundermans” fame, called "Take Back the Shelves," which encourages folks, and youth in particular, to make art showing what they would rather see on pharmacy store shelves in place of tobacco and post it on social media. Everyone who posts their art is entered to win a $5000 scholarship from DoSomething.org. Learn more about tobacco free pharmacies.
Kick Butts Day Registration is Now Open!
Registration for Kick Butts Day events is now open at www.kickbuttsday.org! Kick Butts Day is an annual day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. While the big day is March 15, 2017, now is a great time to starting planning your event. Many of CounterTobacco.org's Youth and Community Engagement Activities make great projects. Tune in to Kick Butts Day webinars to learn how to plan and "supercharge" your event (next one is January 11th!).