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Prevalence of Cigarette Advertising and Other Promotional Strategies at the Point of Sale in St Louis, Missouri: Analysis by Store Type and Distance From a School
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  • Description:
    Introduction

    Point-of-sale advertising provides an opportunity for the tobacco industry to communicate with current and potential smokers. The US Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act allows states to implement policies requiring that tobacco products be placed out of sight, and the Food and Drug Administration is considering banning point-of-sale advertising within 1,000 feet of schools. Our objective was to compare cigarette point-of-sale advertising near schools with grades prekindergarten through 12 and by store type.

    Methods

    All registered cigarette retailers (n = 1,229) and schools (n = 581) in the city of St Louis and St Louis County were geocoded and mapped by using ArcGIS. Retailers were divided into 2 groups, those within 1,000 feet and those within 1,001 to 2,000 feet of a school; 200 retailers from each group were randomly selected. We assessed tobacco interior and exterior advertising, brands advertised, discounts, gifts with purchase, “no sales to minors” signage, and cigarette functional items (eg, advertising on shopping baskets). Analyses were done by distance from a school and store type.

    Results

    We analyzed 340 retailers. Most retailers within 1,000 feet (91.2%) and from 1,001 to 2,000 feet (94.2%) of a school displayed cigarette advertising (P = .20). Convenience stores had the highest number of interior ads. In multivariable models, distance from school explained 0.2% of the variance in total advertising.

    Conclusion

    Cigarette point-of-sale advertising is highly prevalent in St Louis within 1,000 feet of schools. A ban based on distance from a school might decrease advertising exposure, but its effect on smoking prevalence is yet to be determined because advertising farther from schools would still prevail.

  • Document Type:
  • Funding:
    P30 CA091842/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
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