A study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research reviewed existing literature to better understand the use of often-secretive contracts between tobacco companies and retailers. ASPiRE’s Alexandria Reimold, Joseph Lee, and Kurt Ribisl found that contracts are common and often require retailers to lower product pricing, display signage, promote products, and give products highly visible placement. Contracts have also been used to purposefully target neighborhoods with large Black populations, low education, and low income with menthol products and/or increased advertising. Retailers often view contracts as necessary to stay in business, despite many seeing the contracts as controlling or demanding. The review concluded that contracts are widespread, influence consumer experiences, and undermine equity and tobacco control efforts. The authors recommend further research on the effectiveness of contract bans and Assurances of Voluntary Compliance in mitigating the impact of contracts. Read the study. Read the UNC news article.