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August Newsletter

Upcoming Webinar
 
Clearing the Clouds: What Do We Know About Vape Shops? 
September 13, 2016, 3:00 pm ET 

Vape shops, or retail stores that specialize in e-cigarettes and related products, seem to be popping up everywhere.  Although the total number of vape shops in the United States is unknown due to a current lack of regulatory and licensing policies, estimates range anywhere from 3,500 to 35,000 and growing. During this webinar, the presenters will provide a summary of the most recent literature published on vape shops, discuss policy options for regulating them in light of the FDA’s new deeming rule, describe a new tool for conducting observational store assessments, and share a local case study from New Hampshire. The webinar will be moderated by Mark Meaney, JD, MA, Staff Attorney at the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium at the Public Health Law Center.

Presenters:
  • Desmond Jenson, JD Staff Attorney at theTobacco Control Legal Consortium at the Public Health Law Center
  • Kurt Ribisl, PhD, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Co-Founder of CounterTobacco.org
  • Susan Morrison, M.Ed., Program Specialist IV at the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services
Register here
Reminder: Our 5th annual Photo Contest in going on now through 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! Find contest categories, rules, and FAQs here. Don't forget to also vote for your favorites!
Enter the Contest!
Tobacco Retailer Nation: Reflection

This summer, we have been fortunate enough to have William Brody, a student from East Chapel Hill High School, interning with us. In addition to helping us with our website transition, he also completed Tobacco Retailer Nation, one of our Youth Engagement Activities, and wrote about his experience and his findings:

 "...I created a map that details tobacco retailers in the Research Triangle area in North Carolina (Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill), in relation to places that teens, like my friends and I,  commonly visit – ranging from coffee shops to movie theaters to libraries to malls, and last but not least, high schools...The results that I found were quite disturbing. Based on my map, I found that tobacco retailers are located near places where teens hang out...." 

He also examined how the density of tobacco retailers differs in neighborhoods with different racial compositions.  Read more here. 
New "Break the Cycle" Media Campaign from Philadelphia
 
The Philadelphia Department of Health and Smoke Free Philly launched a new media campaign raising awareness of the disproportionate number of tobacco retailers and tobacco advertisements in low-income and minority communities as well as the tobacco industry's marketing towards youth.

The campaign, which began in July and runs through September, consists of ads on public transit (SEPTA cars and bus stops), radio ads, and will also appear on gas-pump toppers.

The Philadelphia Department of Health also created an interactive story map that highlights tobacco's influence on a neighborhood level, including of stores near schools: By Deadly Design: The Tobacco Industry in Your Neighborhood
Policy News and Research
 
CounterTobacco.org's latest "News and Research Roundup," a monthly summary of the latest POS research, reports, and policy news is out.  Highlights:
Tobacco 21 News 
Research on youth exposure to tobacco marketing and sales 

Sociodemographic Disparities in Proximity of Schools to Tobacco Outlets and Fast-Food RestaurantsAmerican Journal of Public Health
  • More tobacco outlets were located near schools with greater numbers of Black, Hispanic, and low-income students compared to schools with greater numbers of White students. More fast food outlets were located near schools with greater numbers of Hispanic and low-income students. Every 10% increase in the number of low-income and Hispanic students enrolled in a school led a 3% to 5% increase in the odds of the school having both a fast-food restaurant and a tobacco outlet nearby
  • News Story: Tobacco, fast food in easier reach of minority and low-income students, Reuters
Point-of-Sale Tobacco Marketing to Youth in New York StateJournal of Adolescent Health
  • According to data from the 2011 New York Retail Advertising Tobacco Study (RATS) and 2010 census data, retailers located in neighborhoods with a greater proportion of youth residents were more likely to offer menthol (Newport Green) price promotions (reduced price or buy-one-get-one-free offers) compared to retailers located in neighborhoods with a lower proportion of youth residents. The authors suggest that bans on the sale of flavored products, including menthol and price discount bans could help reduce youth exposure to tobacco marketing and ultimately reduce youth smoking. Learn more about tobacco marketing to youth.
vSTARS: Vape Shop Assessment Tool 
Thanks to all who sent us feedback and comments! The beta version of vSTARS is now available for download and use. vSTARS is an observational store assessment form designed to measure product availability and health messaging present in vape shops and head shops. It can be completed by local, state, and federal tobacco control advocates or researchers. 
Download the vSTARS form & training manual here
New Website
You may notice that CounterTobacco.org looks a little different. We recently switched platforms and did a little re-designing in the process to make it mobile-friendly and improve readability. Take a look around, and let us know what you think!
Note: a couple pages are still under construction, but will be fully functional soon!
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