The point of sale (POS) is where tobacco companies spend the vast majority of their marketing budget and have enjoyed the greatest freedom from regulation. Regulatory efforts by states and communities have included licensing and zoning laws to limit the number, location and concentration (density) of tobacco retailers, and minimum price laws to reduce the supply of discount tobacco products. State and local agencies are also increasingly focused on eliminating racial and socioeconomic disparities in the amount of marketing and the density of tobacco retailers. Signed into law in June, 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) will change dramatically the tobacco retail environment because it grants states and communities new power to regulate the time, place, and manner of POS tobacco marketing. The broad goal of the proposed research is to establish timely and crucial national surveillance of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and states implement new regulations, the impact on the retail environment, and the response of tobacco companies.
The specific aims are to examine changes in tobacco marketing and pack prices in a representative sample of U.S. retailers, conduct implementation research that will guide states and communities seeking to more effectively regulate POS tobacco marketing, measure annual change in the density and composition of tobacco retailers in a representative sample of U.S. counties, and disseminate information on POS marketing and tobacco retailer density nationwide. This will be accomplished using state-of-the-art surveillance and ecological assessment methods to select a longitudinal sample of 2,000 retailers and conduct in-store audits of tobacco marketing and price at three time points. POS policies and their implementation will be accessed via a national survey of tobacco control program leaders in every state, conducted at the same three time points. Six case studies and four legal research projects regarding POS restrictions will also be conducted. The established surveillance mechanism and the dissemination of study results will serve as important resources for national, state, and local efforts to reduce the public health toll attributable to tobacco use.
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