Retail Environment

main_retailTobacco companies spend a massive amount of money marketing their products in stores.  This includes payments to tobacco retailers to place tobacco products in the most visible locations in the stores, provide price-discounting promotions and place marketing materials in prominent places visible both inside and outside the store.  As a result, all consumers, including young people under the age of 18, are exposed to a substantial amount of tobacco marketing.  While there are several factors that contribute to adolescent smoking, tobacco advertising and promotion at retail stores where tobacco products are sold (also referred to as the “point of sale”) is undoubtedly one of the most significant.

Those concerned with youth tobacco use can advocate for local ordinances that restrict the display of tobacco products, limit the number, type or location of tobacco retailers and restrict price promotions.

For more information on these policy options, see our publications below or contact the center at

For information regarding policies applicable to Vermont, see here.

Cause and Effect: Tobacco Marketing Increases Youth Tobacco Use

Excerpts from the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults.”


Advancing Tobacco Control: The Known, the New and the Next
Summary and excerpts from the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report “The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress.”


Influencing Youth at the POS

A set of factsheets describing the point of sale tobacco marketing problem and its impact on youth.


Retail Stores as Recruitment Centers

Fact sheet illustrating the manner in which tobacco marketing in the retail environment targets youth.


The POS Problem in Numbers

numbers, statistics, convenience, store, cigarette, youth, visit, marketing, tobacco, products, initiation


Marketing Expenditures by Tobacco Industry
Fact sheet comparing tobacco industry spending on total marketing expenditures, point of sale expenditures, and price expenditures.


b250_100Tobacco Product Marketing at the POS
A power point presentation presented at the 2012 regional trainings describing the problem of point of sale tobacco marketing and its influence on youth.


b251_100Tobacco Product Marketing at the POS
Two animated PowerPoint slides from the 2012 regional trainings presentation that describe how the point of sale is an effective recruitment center and the implicit messaging associated with the point of sale.

Disparities Fact Sheet
Fact sheet explaining the disproportionate impact of tobacco marketing on youths, minorities, racial and ethnic minorities, and those of low income and education.


Reducing Youth Exposure to Tobacco Marketingb260_100
Report exploring policies to reduce exposure to tobacco marketing at the point-of-sale through comprehensive licensing, zoning and board of health rules.


Tobacco Retail Licensing
Technical Report on Retail Licensing


Tobacco Retail Licensing Model Ordinance

A model ordinance for New York communities seeking to use licensing requirements to limit the number, type, and location of tobacco retail stores.


Countering Common Concerns: Prohibiting the Sale of Tobacco Products at Pharmacies
A document reviewing the common concerns related to prohibiting the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.


Pharmacies Send Mixed Messages: Giving the Green, Yellow, and Red Lights to Smoking

Fact sheet describing the problems associated with tobacco sales by pharmacies.


Tobacco Retailer Number, Density & Location: Effects on Youth and Other Vulnerable Populations

A fact sheet describing the effect that density, location and numbers of tobacco retailers have on tobacco use.


Just the Facts: Tobacco Retail Licensing

Fact sheet briefly describing the role tobacco retail licensing may play in reducing tobacco use.


Legal Issues: Tobacco Retail Licensing

Fact sheet briefly describing some of the legal issues to be considered when crafting a tobacco retail licensing system.


Effect of Point of Sale Displays on Youth

Fact sheet describing the particular effect that tobacco point of sale displays have on youth.


Addressing the Point of Sale: Options for Reducing Youth Tobacco Use in Vermont

Technical report discussing policy options for reducing youth tobacco use.


Vermont POS Toolkit

A set of factsheets describing the point of sale tobacco marketing problem and its impact on youth.