How some local governments are keeping the number of tobacco retailers in check
Tobacco companies spent over $8.6 billion on marketing in retail establishments, also called point-of-sale marketing, in 2014 (the most recent figures available). This article is part of a series highlighting ways that states and localities are countering the deep pockets of the tobacco industry with policies regulating where and how tobacco products are sold.
With an estimated 375,000 tobacco retailers in the U.S.—about 27 times more than McDonald’s and 28 times more than Starbucks—local governments are acting to protect public health by limiting where tobacco products can be sold.
Measures to restrict tobacco retailer licensing and density are one way to combat the impact of tobacco retail marketing—also called point-of-sale marketing—which is linked to impulse purchases of tobacco products, an increased likelihood of young people starting to smoke and decreased success for people attempting to quit smoking.
Point-of-sale marketing, which includes advertisements and things like discounts and product displays behind check-out counters, is the tobacco industry’s leading marketing strategy. Tobacco companies spent over $8.6 billion on point-of-sale marketing in 2014 (the most recent year that figures are available).