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Cleveland City Council considers restricting sales of flavored tobacco

Cleveland skyline with white sign in front saying Cleveland

Cleveland (an ASPiRE city) is considering an ordinance to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. Cleveland Public Health Director Dr. David Margolius said Cleveland has the highest smoking rate in the nation at 35%, well above the national average of 12%. “Most smokers, in Cleveland specifically, want to quit,” Margolius [...]

Chicago reaches $23.8M settlement with Juul Labs for marketing and sales to underaged youth

cartoon of e-cigarettes

On March 10, officials in Chicago (an ASPiRE city) announced a $23.8M settlement with JUUL Labs over claims that the company was engaged in harmful and deceptive business practices by marketing and selling vaping products to underage users. Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, applauded the announcement. “E-cigarette businesses cannot [...]

Investigating the first retail market for VLN cigarettes

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Last year, the FDA authorized the sale of the first low-nicotine cigarettes as modified-risk tobacco products, and a survey of the first retail test market in Chicago was recently published by ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen and co-authors. Researchers called all 133 Chicago-area Circle K stores and later visited those stores to asses VLN product placement, advertising, [...]

Report details impact of Tobacco 21 in Cincinnati

Interact for Health logo

An evaluation team led by ASPiRE’s Todd Combs and Veronica Chaitan, in collaboration with Interact for Health of Ohio, recently released a report of the team’s findings from a study of the successful efforts to pass, implement, and enforce Tobacco 21 in local communities. The report found that retailer support for Tobacco 21 increased during the [...]

Survey finds most U.S. adults support prohibiting tobacco sales

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A CDC study co-authored by ASPiRE’s Maggie Mahoney found that nearly two-thirds of adults support prohibiting menthol cigarette sales, while more than half support prohibiting all sales of tobacco products. The findings were based on a web panel survey of 6,455 U.S. adults age 18 or older. No significant racial and ethnic group differences were [...]

ASPiRE research cited in story about proposed flavor restrictions in Michigan

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The Detroit News cited ASPiRE’s research in a recent story about efforts to pass a statewide ban on flavored tobacco products in Michigan. “Eighty-five percent of the city’s population lives within a 10-minute walk of a tobacco retailer, according to ASPiRE, a center funded by the National Cancer Institute,” the story reported. The data is being [...]

Law center releases guide to retailer compliance checks

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ASPiRE partner, the Public Health Law Center, released a “best practices” summary for inspections of tobacco retailers to ensure compliance with laws that restrict the minimum legal sales age or sales restrictions on flavored tobacco. Topics include the frequency of checks, responses to violations, and focusing on “high risk” retailers, such as those with previous [...]

Study examines effects of licensing ordinances

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A paper by Bukola Usidame, a new ASPiRE team member from Purdue University, and coauthor Lisa Henriksen looked at the association between local tobacco retail licensing ordinances and adult cigarette use in California. They found limited evidence that stronger licensing laws were associated with lower odds of smoking cigarettes. The authors said future studies should [...]

Availability of new tobacco products varies by location

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A study of 242 tobacco retailers in Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina examined the availability of nicotine pouches and disposable e-cigarettes. Researchers found that pouches were more likely to be available in census tracts with a greater percentage of non-Hispanic White residents, while disposable e-cigarettes were more likely to be available in [...]

Tobacco availability higher in N.C. places with concentrated racial, economic segregation

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A recently published study by ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong and Joseph Lee found greater tobacco and alcohol product availability in North Carolina communities with highly concentrated racial or economic segregation. Researchers created a list of probable tobacco retailers, along with a list of alcohol retailers from the state alcohol commission and compared then to three census [...]

UCSF webinar looks at impact of tax increases and other interventions in Tobacco Nation

A webinar by the University of California-San Francisco’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center focused on the projected impacts of cigarette tax increases and other interventions in Tobacco Nation, the 13 states in the southern and midwestern U.S. with disproportionately high rates of smoking. Speakers were Emily Donovan, senior researcher for Truth Nation in Washington; and Michael [...]

Stronger packaging-focused policies may help reduce cigar use

A research team led by Daniel P. Giovenco of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health used a packaging archive of the top-selling, mass-market cigar products in the U.S. and their corresponding sales data to assess the prevalence of common pack features in the marketplace. They found that the most popular brand did not display [...]

CDC’s Best Practices User Guides include two new supplements on mapping techniques and retail strategies

A partnership between CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and the Center for Public Health Systems Science at Washington University is developing a new set of supplements to CDC’s popular Best Practices User Guides for tobacco control. The second and third supplements on Mapping Techniques and Retail Strategies to Support Health Equity are now available. [...]

Youth provide perspective on menthol sales restrictions in Minnesota

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An evaluation of the 2018 menthol tobacco sales restrictions implemented in Minneapolis and Duluth found mixed reactions among youth ages 14-17. Many of the youth who were interviewed obtain tobacco through peers, family members, and online. The youth observed decreases in retail advertising of menthol cigarettes, although many felt e-cigarettes and online advertising were more [...]

Carding is key to reducing underage tobacco purchases

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Enforcement of Tobacco 21 laws was the subject of a paper co-authored by ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong. Researchers focused on New Jersey, one of several states that increased the tobacco age-of-sale to 21 prior to passage of the federal law in 2019. The study sent five buyers aged 18-20 to 86 retailers between August 2019 and [...]

Restricting tobacco sales to state-controlled liquor stores could increase problem drinking

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A study co-authored by ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen examined possible unintended consequences of restricting tobacco sales to state-owned liquor stores in the 12 states with government retail monopolies on liquor. Researchers examined survey data from nearly 15,000 adults who responded to the 2015 or 2020 U.S. National Alcohol Survey, including more than 2,000 in one of [...]

Finding patterns in the availability and sales of newer tobacco products

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ASPiRE’s Joseph G.L. Lee (East Carolina University) and ASPiRE partner Shyanika W. Rose (University of Kentucky) co-authored a study that audited retailers in four states to analyze neighborhood distribution of the availability of disposable e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches. Both products were available in about half the stores audited in Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and [...]

Evidence bolsters case for retail restrictions in North Carolina

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The ASPiRE team from the University of North Carolina argues that retail policy changes in that state would bolster attempts to reduce youth tobacco use and eliminate tobacco-related disparities. The commentary, published in the North Carolina Medical Journal, describes the evidence for point-of-sale policies including Tobacco 21 laws, restrictions on advertising and promotions, flavored tobacco [...]

Tobacco’s influence on convenience store traffic goes down in Britain

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ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong and her co-authors found that tobacco’s importance as a driver of retail traffic in British convenience stores declined significantly from 2016 to 2019. Researchers analyzed electronic point-of-sale systems data from 1,253 convenience stores. Their results undermine industry claims that tobacco sales are essential to the viability of convenience stores. Read the paper. [...]

Unintended consequences show need for retailer, consumer surveillance

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For this recent study, Henriksen and colleagues surveyed young adults in the Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, San Diego, and Seattle metro areas who use e-cigarettes. The results illustrate how consumers from jurisdictions with different regulatory landscapes responded to FDA’s removal of flavored cartridge e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol flavors) that were on the market [...]

The reshaping of the e-cigarette retail environment

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In a commentary published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen and her co-authors examine the impact of new state and federal laws, cannabis legalization, and other regulatory complexities that have affected how e-cigarettes are being marketed and their effect on public health. Topics discussed include youth access, consumer [...]

PHLC updates factsheets on ad restrictions

Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of law logo

The Public Health Law Center has updated two factsheets that provide general information about tobacco advertising restrictions regarding content, time, place, or manner. Each factsheet includes examples of these restrictions and describes potential legal challenges. Read Content-Neutral Advertising Laws (2022 update). Read Restricting Tobacco Advertising (2022 update). [...]

FDA posts menthol listening session

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The Food and Drug Administration has posted transcripts and recordings of two listening sessions on its proposed menthol ban that were held in June, as a complement to comments submitted during the formal commenting process. Each session began with an FDA explanation of its proposed restrictions, after which members of the public were able to [...]

Texas Schools with higher Hispanic/Latino enrollment surrounded by more tobacco ads

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Researchers from the University of Texas audited advertising data from convenience stores and gas stations around middle and high schools in the state’s metro areas, then simulated a 1,000-foot ban of tobacco sales around the schools. They found that schools with a higher enrollment of Hispanic/Latino and economically disadvantaged students were surrounded by more advertising [...]

New tobacco products require new surveillance methods

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Retail tobacco sales data may be a good alternative to the traditional “gold standard” tobacco retail surveys to better adapt to the rapidly changing tobacco retail landscape, reports the CDC Foundation in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The proliferation of new kinds of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products will require new methods to rapidly [...]

County flavor restrictions associated with reduced smoking by adolescents

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Researchers from Boston College found that county-level restrictions on flavored tobacco products were associated with reduced use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes by adolescents in Massachusetts. The local restrictions limited the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only retail tobacco stores.  “Local legislation can reduce adolescent tobacco use, and municipalities should enact stricter tobacco-control policies when [...]

Researchers report estimates of the impacts on the non-Hispanic Black population stemming from a US ban on menthol cigarettes

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Recent studies have estimated the harm of menthol cigarettes in the U.S. from 1980-2018 among both the general population as well as among African Americans specifically, and have estimated the public health impact of a US ban on menthol in cigarettes and cigars in the general population. The FDA’s proposed rule cited these impactful studies [...]

Counter Tools assesses the marketing of flavored tobacco

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Counter Tools and Truth Initiative partnered in 2018 to develop retail tobacco store assessment questions focused on menthol and other flavored products; those questions were later revised to include e-cigarettes. Now, a new report assessing marketing at retailers in five cities in Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio (including Cleveland) is available on-line, with downloadable resources. See [...]

ASPiRE files public comment with FDA on menthol ban

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In an effort led by Sarah Mills, ASPiRE has filed a public comment with the Food and Drug Administration describing the public-health benefits of a comprehensive ban on the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes, proposed by the FDA in April. The filing cited numerous studies that provide evidence that menthol is associated with the initiation of [...]

Resources now available to help frame messaging about tobacco disparities

ChangeLab Solutions and the CDC have partnered to help tobacco prevention staff and partners frame their communications on tobacco-related health disparities in ways that minimize racial biases and foster support for effective policy solutions. Messaging that focuses on disparities can reinforce biases about the communities that are most harmed by commercial tobacco, leading policymakers to [...]

LA prohibits flavored tobacco sales

City of Los Angeles seal

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously June 1 to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products except flavored shisha tobacco, allowing it to be sold in some hookah lounges. The law does not ban the possession or use of flavored tobacco, only its sale. The ban is scheduled to go into effect January [...]

Fewer exemptions, better research needed to strengthen retail policies and evaluation

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A qualitative review of published research that evaluated tobacco sales policies found a moderate to high quality of evidence associating policies with reduced availability, marketing, and sales of policy-restricted products, as well as decreased youth and adult tobacco use of the products. But the authors also found policy exclusions and exemptions, implementation challenges, tobacco industry [...]

Stronger packaging policies could curb cigar use, study suggests

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Cigar packaging features such as small pack sizes, innovative materials, flavor names, bright colors, and cost-saving promotions are prevalent among the top-selling products, concludes a study of packaging of top-selling cigars in the U.S. Stronger packaging-focused policies at the federal and local levels may help reduce appeal and potentially curb cigar use, conclude the authors [...]

Restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigs associated with a reduction in total e-cig sales

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Statewide restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington were associated with a reduction in total e-cigarette sales, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors say their findings suggest that not all e-cigarette users who purchased non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes switched to [...]

CAB surveys suggest ways to make research accessible

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A paper in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy based on your responses to surveys during our CAB meetings focuses on CAB member preferences for receiving scientific evidence and ways to use it. The paper, led by Virginia McKay and co-authored by other members of the ASPiRE team at WashU, analyzed the results of the [...]

Passing complementary pricing policies would strengthen impact of higher cigarette taxes

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Also in the 30th anniversary issue of Tobacco Control, a special communication by ASPiRE’s Kurt Ribisl and Shelley Golden proposes strategies for making higher tobacco excise taxes even more effective. Designing those taxes to raise prices frequently and substantially for all products, along with minimum price laws and bans on coupons, discounts, and other promotions [...]

May 2022 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

Each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy. Many of these articles are available for FREE. The May 2022 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month for a new list.  [...]

ASPiRE D&I Pilot Research Program accepting applications

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The ASPiRE Center is awarding pilot grants of $10,000 each for the 2022-2023 grant cycle to fund developmental or early stage work, with the purpose of advancing D&I science and building capacity for D&I research in evidence-based tobacco retail policy. More information and downloadable application materials are available here. [...]

CAB partner Counter Tools & ChangeLab Solutions publish Tobacco Point of Sale Preemption Playbook

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This new resource will equip tobacco prevention and control staff with the knowledge, context, and resources to understand how preemption influences their work. Readers will learn about different forms of preemption, key steps and legal considerations for determining local authority, and strategies communities are using to make progress despite preemption of local point-of-sale policies. Read [...]

Broad support for restrictions on tobacco product placement

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Researchers including National Cancer Institute (NCI) Project Officer Annette Kaufman and former Project Officer Bob Vollinger used the NCI 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey to examine public opinion of proposed restrictions on tobacco product placement and advertising at point-of-sale and on social media. The authors found broad support—for example, 60% of U.S. adults support [...]

Hookah lounges, vape shops, and tobacco retailers cluster near California colleges

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Previous studies inferred that hookah lounges and vape shops cluster near colleges from evidence of greater density and closer proximity to campuses. However, this study, including ASPiRE’s Nina Schleicher and Lisa Henriksen, developed a new approach to test for spatial clustering. The authors compared the observed locations of hookah lounges, vape shops and all tobacco [...]

Point-of-sale bans associated with increased cessation

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This study, co-authored by ASPiRE CAB member Geoffrey Fong, analyzed the effects of Canadian point-of-sale (POS) tobacco display bans on quit attempts and smoking cessation. The study found that adults who smoke cigarettes and were living in a province with a POS ban in place for at least two years had a greater chance of [...]

CAB member rejects “sleeping with the enemy”

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TIME Magazine recently published a story about the tobacco industry’s funding of controversial tobacco-prevention programs in schools, which public health experts say don’t work and promote the idea that tobacco giants really care about kids. In January, Malcolm Ahlo, our ASPiRE CAB member in Las Vegas, was offered the chance to apply for a grant [...]

Secret pacts between tobacco companies and retailers are a bad bargain for public health

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health logo

Tobacco companies handsomely incentivize retailers around the world to follow harsh requirements related to selling and marketing tobacco products through contracts that fly under the radar of both consumers and policymakers. These agreements allow tobacco manufacturers to give their products primary placement in stores, discount their pricing and target specific demographics. Such rigorous control undermines [...]

Cheaper tobacco product prices at US Air Force Bases compared with surrounding community areas, 2019

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This study with ASPiRE authors Kong, Golden, Ribisl, and Vandegrift evaluates compliance with a US Department of Defense (DoD) policy requiring stores on military bases to set tobacco prices comparable to stores in the surrounding community. The authors conducted store audits of 23 on-base and 50 off-base retailers in Texas. They found the median price of [...]

Cigar ad content at stores near middle schools, high schools in California

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Ads for little cigars that implied health claims and featured premium branding and sensory descriptors were found by researchers in retail settings near schools. Although the FDA prohibits using inaccurate, reduced-risk descriptors on tobacco product advertising, researchers visiting 530 retailers near California middle and high schools photographed and content analyzed cigar ads, finding 44% of [...]

Improved compliance with tobacco age-of-sale signage needed near colleges and universities

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A study co-authored by Henriksen and ASPiRE researchers Monika Vishwakarma, Trent Johnson, and Nina Schleicher examined compliance at 614 California vape shops with state-mandated age-of-sale signs, the presence of age-of-entry signs, and the tobacco industry’s “We Card” sign in 2019. The researchers found that compliance with the age-of-sale sign was 69.4%, with vape-only stores less [...]

E-cigarette sales trends available

CDC Foundation logo

The CDC Foundation has produced data briefs on U.S. trends in e-cigarette sales, including trends in several states. The briefs update trends in sales of e-cigarettes by product and flavor type. These briefs are intended to provide information about population trends in sales for participating retailers; they don’t include online sale or vape store sales, [...]

CDC publishes guide on putting evidence into practice

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After more than 50 years of research, we know what works to reduce commercial tobacco use. Yet evidence-based interventions are not reaching the people who need them most, and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Now, the CDC has published a new guide designed to help programs like yours [...]

A look at the impact of California’s tobacco and cannabis policies

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The investigators examined the effects of California’s tobacco and cannabis policies on the availability of tobacco. Recent laws prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and set minimum pack sizes for little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs), while increasing availability of cannabis through more permissive sales and marketing policies. The study found that the cannabis policies were [...]

Policies associated with reduced adult, youth use of tobacco

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This study systematically reviewed papers that evaluated flavored tobacco sales policies implemented in the United States during 2010-2019. From these papers, the authors developed a model to assess outcomes, assigned quality-of-evidence ratings to outcomes, and identified factors that might explain weak or inconsistent findings. Moderate- to high-quality evidence existed to associate policy implementation with reduced [...]

Stay-at-home period during COVID changed use and purchase of tobacco, study finds

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In telephone interviews with adults who smoke cigarettes and/or use electronic delivery systems, researchers found several changes in the use and purchase of inhaled tobacco products during the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home period in the U.S. Community-level changes centered on product accessibility and were reflected primarily in purchasing patterns. Interpersonal-level changes reflected shifts in household dynamics [...]

E-cigarette use by young adults linked to advertising, media exposure

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The authors, including ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen, analyzed survey data from 3,000 young adults in six metropolitan areas to examine e-cigarette use, advertising and media exposure, and age verification experiences during purchase. Consistent with previous studies, the research found a positive, possibly reciprocal, association between e-cigarette use and advertising/media exposure. The survey also pointed to poor [...]

Dollar stores may worsen smoking-related inequities

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By making cheaper cigarettes available in poorer, younger, and more rural neighborhoods, dollar stores may contribute to smoking inequities, according to a study whose co-authors include ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen and Nina Schleicher. Using data from California on tobacco retailers, the researchers found that census tracts with lower median household income, rural status, and higher proportions [...]

Inequities in tobacco retailer density: Neighboring places matter

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This study, co-authored by ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong, Paul Delamater, Kurt Ribisl, Chris Baggett, and Shelley Golden, investigates census tract racial, ethnic, and sociodemographic characteristics to determine their association with tobacco retailer density. Results indicated that a higher percentage of Black and Latino residents was associated with a higher tobacco retailer density in both the tract [...]

FDA delays long-awaited decision on flavored e-cigs

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On Sept. 9, the Food and Drug Administration postponed a decision on whether many tobacco products that entered the market since 2007, including flavored e-cigarettes, can be sold. In a statement, the FDA said it has denied marketing applications for nearly 1 million flavored e-cigarettes because companies did not provide enough evidence that any potential [...]

Lessons learned from menthol restrictions in Minnesota cities

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This study examined three successful tobacco retail policy initiatives to restrict menthol tobacco availability in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, Minnesota, using key informant interviews with community leaders and members. Theme analysis indicated that strong city council support, leadership from impacted communities, awareness-building campaigns, and education about tobacco industry counter-tactics facilitated these initiatives. Challenges included [...]

CA study finds complex associations between T21 and use of tobacco products

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Researchers from the University of California–Berkeley investigated associations between California’s 2016 T21 law and adolescent use of tobacco products, including differences across racial and ethnic groups. Comparing 2010–2011 and 2017–2018 health survey data, the study found that the T21 policy was associated with a reduced prevalence of lifetime smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use, and past-month [...]

Young adults in vulnerable communities more likely to see tobacco ads

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Retail advertising is the primary way young adults are exposed to tobacco marketing in their daily lives. A new study co-authored by ASPiRE’s Kurt Ribisl found that young adults from vulnerable communities are at increased risk of seeing any tobacco marketing, and especially the marketing of flavored tobacco. The paper concludes that policies curtailing tobacco [...]

New GIFs, PDFs available for your media toolbox

The American Heart Association has developed a series of well-done GIFs and PDFs to support policy work on tobacco flavors and tobacco retail licensure. You’re welcome to share them with your networks. See the flavors/menthol GIFs. See the tobacco retail licensure GIFs and PDFs. [...]

Number of tobacco retailers in the U.S. increased between 2000-2017

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Researchers from the ASPiRE team at the University of North Carolina, led by ASPiRE’s Shelley Golden, developed a protocol to identify U.S. tobacco retailers between 2000 and 2017. Using industry codes and retailer names from a national database, they calculated annual counts of tobacco retailers, together with retailer openings and closings. They found a net increase [...]

CDC publishes user guide on partnerships and tobacco control

As tobacco control programs are asked to do more with fewer resources, partnerships have become more important. The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health has published a new Best Practices User Guide: Partnerships in Tobacco Control. Written in partnership with members of the ASPiRE team from WashU’s Center for Public Health Systems Science, the guide [...]

More, densely packed tobacco retailers make for less-healthy behaviors

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There are 27 brick-and-mortar tobacco retailers for every one McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S., equaling 375,000 tobacco retail locations. Retailers are not equally distributed, but tend to be clustered in lower-income and minority communities. New research concludes that living near more tobacco retailers is linked with people being more likely to use tobacco and less [...]

JUUL settles NC suit for $40 million

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Last month, Juul Labs agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million to settle the first of many lawsuits brought by states claiming the e-cigarette company’s marketing contributed to widespread nicotine addiction among youths. The settlement was announced as the Food and Drug Administration is deciding whether its vaping products can stay on the market. Read [...]

JUUL invests $30 million in ads to burnish image

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A study from the University of Chicago examined JUUL’s advertising efforts in 2018 and 2019. Touted as an effort to combat underage use, in 2018, JUUL invested $30 million investment in ads, primarily promoting the products and emphasizing its role in smoking reduction. In 2019, the company spent $36.2 million in advertising. These marketing activities [...]

Neighborhood poverty, scanner ID checks associated with retailer T21 compliance

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A study in Columbus, Ohio, examined whether compliance checks with Tobacco 21 were related to retailer characteristics, including neighborhood poverty level, in-store T21 signage, and cashier behaviors and perceptions of the law. The authors found that compliance with ID checks was lower in high-poverty neighborhoods and higher among retailers using scanners for ID checks. They [...]

Retailer density linked to daily smoking

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A paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine based on the dissertation of ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong (UNC) found that the density of tobacco retailers, especially gas stations and convenience stores that sell tobacco products, was associated with adult smoking behaviors. Read the paper. Kong also posted a brief “tweetorial” about the data. [...]

July 2021 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The July 2021 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

June 2021 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The June 2021 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

ASPiRE D&I Pilot Research Program accepting applications

ASPiRE New Logo

The ASPiRE Center is awarding pilot grants of $10,000 each for the 2021-2022 grant cycle to fund developmental or early stage work, with the purpose of advancing D&I science and building capacity for D&I research in evidence-based tobacco retail policy. More information and downloadable application materials are available here. [...]

Redlining and tobacco retail density

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Researchers from The Ohio State University tracked maps of 13 Ohio cities over time using racially discriminatory redlining criteria and tobacco retailer licenses by location and found that tobacco retailer density increased as redlining grades decreased, reflecting higher densities in low-income and Black neighborhoods. See the paper. [...]

Local control important to Tobacco 21

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A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows localities can provide an extra layer to the federal Tobacco 21 law by adding components to their own T21 laws, like a comprehensive definition of tobacco, retail licensure, a graduated penalty structure, and an enforcement mechanism (e.g., compliance checks, inspections, etc.). Now, most local T21 [...]

Menthol marketing in LA: A challenge to health equity

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A study in Preventing Chronic Disease found a disproportionate number of ads and price promotions for menthol cigarettes in stores located in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The lowest advertised menthol pack price was also found in these neighborhoods. These findings support implementation of policies that restrict retail menthol cigarette sales. See the paper. [...]

Tobacco, alcohol sales increase during pandemic

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A paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that alcohol and tobacco sales increased in all demographic categories in 2020 compared with 2019. Relative increases in tobacco sales were higher among higher-income households, younger adults, larger households, households with children under 18, and ethnic minorities. This is consistent with the demographic subgroups, who report [...]

Study finds inequities in neighborhood tobacco retail density

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A new paper in Health Education & Behavior by ASPiRE’s Amanda Kong and other members of the UNC team discusses several implications for pro-equity tobacco control, focused on the built environment. The paper updates the previous literature documenting national inequities in tobacco retailer density. The authors also found there may be an inequitable impact of [...]

May 2021 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The May 2021 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

Many vape shops didn’t comply with COVID closure orders

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A report in Tobacco Control by ASPiRE’s Lisa Henriksen, Trent Johnson, and Nina Schleicher looked at vape shop closures during COVID-19 in six metro areas (Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, San Diego, and Seattle) using data from the Public Health Law Center. They found that many vape shops did not comply with state COVID-19 orders. [...]

Local legislation can reduce adolescent tobacco use

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Researchers at Boston College examined the associations between tobacco control policies in several Massachusetts counties and adolescent tobacco use. They found that counties with greater implementation of flavored tobacco product restrictions were associated with a decrease in the level of cigarette use, with the largest reductions among 14- and 18-year-olds. Increasing flavored tobacco product restrictions [...]

OSU study reviews density-reduction approaches

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A literature review in Health & Place by researchers at The Ohio State University School of Public Health synthesized evidence on density-reduction policies. Findings indicate that prohibitions on tobacco sales in pharmacies reduced retailer density, but perhaps not equitably. Prohibiting the sale of tobacco near schools produced greater density reductions in higher-risk neighborhoods, and a [...]

Reductions in retail density can reduce youth smoking

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A review by ASPiRE’s team at Stanford, reported in Health & Place, looked at international peer-reviewed literature with evidence of the density and proximity of tobacco retail outlets to homes, schools, and communities and their association with smoking among youth in 1990-2019. The review found evidence of a relationship between the density of tobacco retail [...]

In Providence, a prohibition on flavored products shows a shift to concept flavors

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A case study in Tobacco Control looked at restrictions on the sale of non-cigarette tobacco products with a flavor other than tobacco, menthol, mint, or wintergreen. Researchers compared scanner data from Providence and the rest of Rhode Island, which illustrated the cigarillo industry’s response to the sales restriction. They found that Providence consumers were exposed [...]

AHA releases interactive map of retail licensing in 50 states

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The American Heart Association has developed Tobacco Retail Licensure, an interactive map with licensing information for all 50 states. Scroll over the map for a summary (license provisions, fees, renewal terms) and click on the state for more information. The page includes policy recommendations and additional resources, including two from ASPiRE: Tobacco Retail Policy Trends [...]

CAB’s Ryan Coffman: Keep Flavor Restrictions to Protect Kids

The Philadelphia Inquirer logo

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published a powerful op-ed by Ryan Coffman, tobacco policy and control program manager for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health – and a member of our Community Advisory Board. Ryan blasted the tobacco industry for suing to overturn legislation passed by the Philadelphia City Council that restricts the sale of candy-flavored [...]

ASPiRE, Tobacco-Free Kids team up to spread the word about retail density

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ASPiRE recently joined the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to conduct a nationwide media campaign to publicize the center’s research on tobacco retail density in 30 U.S. cities. The two-week campaign reached over 3 million broadcast viewers, radio listeners and on-line readers in more than two dozen of the nation’s largest media markets. It also resulted [...]

July 2020 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The July 2020 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

June 2020 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The June 2020 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

CDC call for papers

Call For Papers

In its call for papers, “Addressing Health Disparities and Improving Population Health in Diverse Communities and Settings,” Preventing Chronic Disease invites authors to submit manuscripts describing innovative and effective work that addresses factors contributing to health disparities and improvement of population health. The CDC cites a range of community-based, technically innovative, and clinically driven prevention [...]

ASPiRE D&I Pilot Research Program accepting applications

ASPiRE New Logo

The ASPiRE Center is awarding pilot grants of $10,000 each for the 2020-2021 grant cycle to fund developmental or early stage work, with the purpose of advancing D&I science and building capacity for D&I research in evidence-based tobacco retail policy. More information and downloadable application materials are available here. [...]

COVID-19 puts some tobacco control efforts on hold

COVID-19 Virus Graphic

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be having a dramatic effect on local tobacco-control efforts across the U.S. Personnel have been repurposed in whole or in part to focus on responding to the virus, while the enforcement of tobacco regulations has been put on the back burner, if not entirely frozen. In Philadelphia, for example, the [...]

CDC: Smokers at higher risk from COVID-19

illustration of group of 5 people of different races and ages

Smokers are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking can compromise the immune systems of smokers, which is why they are at higher risk, according to the agency’s list of People at Higher Risk for Illness. [...]

Federal Tobacco 21 and the FDA flavors guidance

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On December 20, 2019, the federal legal minimum age of sale for tobacco products was raised to 21. On January 2, 2020, the FDA finalized a guidance that attempts to combat the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. Both of these actions have raised many questions about what will happen next and how these policies will [...]

New FDA flavor guidance has exemptions

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids logo

New FDA guidance on flavors went into effect on Feb. 6, prohibiting sales of cartridge-based e-cigarettes that are not flavored with menthol or tobacco. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids warned that exemptions in the flavor restrictions mean the new rules “will not stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic that is addicting a generation of our kids.” Learn [...]

FTC, TFK track big tobacco spending on ads, promotion

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids logo

The FTC has released 2018 data on marketing expenditures from the major cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies, finding that the tobacco companies spent $9.1 billion on advertising and promotion, or over $1 million per hour. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has tobacco marketing fact sheets with this new data. TFK also has new estimates of [...]

Licensing reduces retail density in Philadelphia

Aerial view of city of Philadelphia, PA

Three years after retailer licensing regulations were implemented in Philadelphia, tobacco retailer density declined by more than 20%, according to a new paper co-authored by ASPiRE CAB member Ryan Coffman of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, concluded that licensing can reduce tobacco marketing, lessen disparities in retail [...]

Retail density associated with smoking prevalence in metro areas

Exterior of 7-Eleven corner store

A group of ASPiRE researchers, led by Shelley Golden, co-PI of ASPiRE’s Density & Disease project, have a new study out in Preventive Medicine Reports showing an association between tobacco retailer density and adult smoking prevalence in metropolitan counties. The authors suggest that jurisdictions interested in new ways to reduce smoking and smoking disparities consider strategies to reduce [...]

States led the way on T21

Tobacco 21 logo

By the time Congress enacted a federal T21 law on December 20, a total of 19 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories had enacted T21 laws, including 13 in 2019, according to a recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, co-authored by ASPiRE CAB Chair Maggie Mahoney. Several state and territorial T21 [...]