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Public Health Advocacy Institute

at Northeastern University School of Law

360 Huntington Avenue, 117CU

Boston, MA 02115


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Retail Environment

The retail environment, or “point of sale” (POS) is now the primary venue for tobacco marketing. Tobacco companies focus their marketing on community stores to ensure that their products are highly visible, ubiquitous, and affordable—thereby driving perceptions that tobacco is widely used and acceptable. Policy interventions can reduce community members’ exposure to harmful tobacco marketing, thereby decreasing tobacco use.

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The Problem: Retail Marketing

Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars marketing their products in the retail environment. Exposure to tobacco marketing in the retail environment is a significant driver of tobacco use, because it normalizes tobacco use, promotes appealing flavors, and triggers impulse purchases by addicted users.

Solutions: Point of Sale Policies

Communities may regulate where and how tobacco products are sold, and thus reduce exposure to harmful tobacco marketing. These “point of sale” (POS) policy interventions include regulating the number, type, and location of tobacco retailers, and limiting the sale of tobacco products with appealing flavors, which are a critical Industry tool for attracting and retaining tobacco users.

Successes: POS Policy Implementation

Local governments have successfully implemented effective and feasible tobacco controls at the point of sale. Learn more about successful implementation approaches and the experiences of other local jurisdictions.

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