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July Newsletter

Our 5th annual Photo Contest will take place August 8 - September, 2016. Each year we host a photo contest to replenish the Counter Tobacco media gallery with fresh, up-to-date images, encouraging users to take photos of the point of sale. These images are crucial to educating the public and furthering the success of state and local tobacco control efforts that seek to reduce tobacco industry activity at the point of sale. Plus, prize packs include some sweet Counter Tobacco swag! Stay tuned for more details and this year's categories to start planning your photo-taking excursions! Conducting store assessments? Take your camera along and document what you see!  For inspiration in the meantime, check out last year's winners here
vSTARS: Vape Shop Assessment Tool 
Reminder: You have until July 22nd to try out vSTARS - the new vape shop assessment tool, and provide us with any comments, suggestions, or questions! We welcome feedback on both the vSTARS form and the Training ManualPlease send feedback to or

vSTARS (beta release) will officially launch at the end of July!
vSTARS is an observational store assessment form designed to measure product availability, flavors, marketing and health messaging present in vape shops and head shops. This instrument was modeled after the original STARS and can be completed by local, state, and federal tobacco control advocates or researchers. vSTARS collects data to inform policy and is not intended to assess compliance with regulations.
Download the vSTARS form
Download the vSTARS training manual
New Resources
Healthy Retail
Interested in creating a retail environment that is not just tobacco-free, but promotes health in other ways as well? ChangeLab Solutions has a new set of resources focused on Healthy Retail, including: Research suggests that environments for nutrition, tobacco, and physical activity at the community level are inter-related, indicating the potential benefit of addressing multiple issues at the point of sale in a coordinated way  [9Learn more about healthy retail.
Flavored Tobacco & Minimum Price Case Study:

Interested in flavor restrictions or minimum price laws?

ClearWay Minnesota has published a new case study: Protecting Young People in Minneapolis: A Case Study on Limiting Flavored Tobacco and Raising the Minimum Price of Cigars. This publication describes how youth and a coalition of public health advocates laid the groundwork for grassroots advocacy that successfully brought about policy changes, and it discusses the lessons learned.

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

Localities that have raised the minimum legal sale age to 21 in the past month include:
News from New Zealand: Point of Sale Display Ban Working 

 Impact of removing point-of-sale tobacco displays: data from a New Zealand youth survey, Tobacco Control

A new evaluation of New Zealand's POS tobacco display ban shows significant drops in youth smoking rates and smoking experimentation. Previous research has shown a strong relationship between visits to stores selling tobacco and smoking initiation. As shown in this study, take the tobacco display (e.g. a powerwall) away, and that relationship weakens significantly. In July 2012, New Zealand implemented a point of sale tobacco display ban along with other tobacco control measures.

By 2014, smoking experimentation among youth ages 14-15 dropped to 17%, down from 24% in 2011. The current smoking rates dropped from 9% to 7%, and the smoking initiation dropped from 13% to 11%. Perceived peer prevalence of smoking (social norms) decreased from 44% in 2012 to 41% in 2014. There were also fewer attempted purchases of cigarettes, and the relationship between frequency of visits to stores that sell tobacco and smoking experimentation weakened.
A study of tobacco sales and advertising in Albany, NY food stores across 12 years shows declines, in part due to local tobacco control efforts, self-regulation by the pharmacy industry, and increases in tobacco retailer licensing fees. The largest decline was in convenience stores that went out of business, followed by pharmacies that dropped tobacco sales. 
The increase in availability was due to new convenience stores and an increase in dollar stores sales. However, the number of stores selling tobacco increased at a greater pace in minority neighborhoods. Read more.
Minimum price law + discount ban could result in 12.5 million fewer smokers 

Estimating the Impact of Raising Prices and Eliminating Discounts on Cigarette Smoking Prevalence in the United StatesPublic Health Reports

Researchers estimated changes in smoking prevalence based on simulations of three different price scenarios and found:
  • A $0.94 per-pack cigarette price increase (via a federal tax) could result 0.5 % teen smokers, 2.5% young adults smokers, and 0.8% fewer smokers age 26 and older.
  • A $10 per-pack retail price that still allows discounts, could result in 2.4% fewer teen smokers, 11.6% fewer young adult smokers, and 3.6% fewer smokers age 26 and older.
  • A $10 per-pack average retail price that also eliminates discounts had the most impact and could result in 2.5% fewer teen cigarette smokers; 12.2% fewer young adult smokers, and 3.8% fewer smokers ages 26 and older, which amounts to a total of 12.5 million fewer smokers overall.
States that currently have the lowest excise taxes and highest smoking prevalence would experience the greatest decreases in smoking rates. However, the simulation model used does not account for non-cigarette tobacco products. Learn more about non-tax price policies.
Seen Enough Tobacco - Crayons

The latest and greatest from our
Media Galleries

This display of cheap, flavored little cigars and cigarillos is right at eye-level for kids. Who is this marketing to? 

Taken June 21, 2016 by Stephanie Mayfield in Wiggins, MS

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