Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws requiring e-cigarette retailers and vape shops to obtain either a license or a permit to do business. For example, in April 2016, the Washington state legislature adopted rules to create a statewide licensing system for businesses that sell and distribute “vapor products,” including liquid nicotine. In addition, many local communities have adopted their own licensing and permit requirements for e-cigarette retailers and vape shops. For example, San Marcos, California, recently passed an ordinance requiring any shop that sells tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and related devices, to purchase a city-issued “tobacco retail license.” Read the full story here.
FTC Reports on Tobacco Industry Marketing Expenditures for 2014
Newly released reports from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) show the tobacco industry spent over $8.2 billion on marketing and advertising at the point of sale in 2014. This accounts for nearly 91% of their total marketing dollars and includes increased spending on coupons and point of sale advertisements. Find more details here.
Media and Awareness Campaigns
Pasadena REACH Media Campaign
The Pasadena, CA Department of Public Health, with funding from the CDC, is launching a media campaign as part of their REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Project. The campaign focuses on menthol cigarettes, flavored tobacco products, and e-cigarettes. Ads like the one below will appear on buses, at bus shelters, on social media, and at the point of sale inside tobacco retailers starting this month. One of the goals of the campaign is to advance health equity, battling the tobacco industry's targeted marketing and higher rates of use among African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos in the city. View the ads and learn more here.
Tobacco Proliferation Animations by NYC Youth
Working with NYC Smoke-Free, high school students created animated videos that demonstrate the problem of tobacco proliferation in their neighborhoods.The example below is a video made by 16-year-old Ronnica Baptiste, who is a student at Science Technology and Research Early College High School at Erasmus and lives in the Brooklyn - Canarsie neighborhood. She notes that she passes tobacco retail outlets 66 times on her way to and from school and gymnastics. See the video below, and see more here.
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:
Based on the SimSmoke model, the addition of pictorial health warnings to cigarette packs in the US would reduce smoking prevalence by an additional 5% in the short term and 10% over the long term. Over the next 50 years, pictorial health warnings would prevent 652,800 smoking attributable deaths, 46,6000 low-birth weight cases, 73,600 preterm births, and 1000 cases of sudden infant death syndrome.
Smoking attributable deaths were high across the country, accounting for 28.6% of all cancer deaths. However, the proportion of deaths attributable to smoking varied across states and were highest in the South. In Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Louisiana smoking accounted for 40% of cancer deaths among men.
The authors argue that the disparity in state smoking-attributable deaths is due to a disparity in strength of tobacco control policies and funding for state tobacco control programs. They suggest that one solution for states that are stalled on increasing cigarette excise taxes and passing smoke-free air laws is to increase local-level policy innovation. Other strategies include monitoring tobacco industry interference, researching how to frame tobacco control messaging for evidence based policies, and translating, disseminating and implementing sustainable policies. In addition to between states disparities, disparities between racial/ethnic groups and income groups also need to be addressed.
A study of youth tobacco use and e-cigarette availability and marketing around 41 schools in New Jersey found that rates of both ever and past-month e-cigarette use were higher among students in schools located in an area with greater e-cigarette retailer density. Similarly, rates of past-month e-cigarette use were higher among students in schools that had higher amounts of e-cigarette advertising within a half mile. This provides evidence that the point of sale environment around schools may influence e-cigarette use among youth.
The National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) is one of the largest, long-standing gatherings of the United States tobacco control movement. It attracts a diverse set of public health professionals to learn about best practices and policies to reduce tobacco use. Learn more and register here.
The latest and greatest from our Media Gallery
Mobile coupons - a new trend in price promotion. Here they are advertised outside a tobacco retailer.
Photo take on October 31, 2016 in Danville, VA by Amanda Oakes