Objective - To examine the extent and types of cigarette advertising materials in stores and to assess tobacco company compliance with the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). Design - A cross-sectional analysis of a random sample of 586 stores that sold cigarettes. Setting - US state of California. Main outcome measures - Trained data collectors classified cigarette advertising materials by type (signs, displays, functional items), location (interior or exterior), and placement (below 3 feet (1 m) or near candy). Results - California retail outlets featured 17.2 (SD 16.1) tobacco advertising materials on average, and 94% of stores featured at least some advertising. About 85% of these were within 4 feet (1.3 m) of the counter. About 50% of the stores had ads at or below 3 feet, and 23% had cigarette product displays next to candy. In violation of the MSA, 3% of stores featured signs with cartoons and 11% had large exterior signs. Conclusions - Tobacco companies are aggressively using stores to market cigarettes. Moreover, the spirit of the MSA - to protect children from cigarette advertising - has not been realised. Future studies should monitor industry use of this venue and assess the impact of exposure to cigarette advertising materials in stores on adult smokers and youth.
- Point-of-sale advertising
- Tobacco industry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health