Tag Archives: tobacco sales

NYC Raises Tobacco Purchase Age: Will Others Follow?

Guest Blogger – Julia Velonjara, Youth Program Coordinator, California Youth Advocacy Network

The Big Apple is making a big change and we get to the core of the issue! Mayor Bloomberg recently signed legislation raising the minimum tobacco purchasing age (MTPA) to 21. First let’s look at the history of this type of policy. New York City is the largest jurisdiction to increase the MTPA from the federal standard of 18. In 2005, Needham, MA was first to change local laws to age 21. Additionally, four states and a number of other jurisdictions have a MTPA of 19. The Food and Drug Administration is currently prohibited by the 2009 FDA Act from increasing the MTPA above 18 federally, hence this piecemeal approach. The outpouring of publicity around New York City’s law brings this issue into the spotlight. Other recent developments include Hawai’i County Council unanimously voting for a MTPA of 21 and Utah taking up the issue in the next legislative session. Now that we know what’s going on around the country with this issue, let’s explore the pros and cons of the issue. Read More »

We Have Resources for Your CX Process

Recently, I’ve started getting lots of questions about how many and which communities have passed various local tobacco control policies. This is all part of the CX process that local tobacco coalitions are in the middle of right now. At the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing, we produce a lot of documents that list the details of policies ranging from tobacco retailer licenses to secondhand smoke ordinances. In addition, we’ve done a lot of public opinion polling over the years, which might also be useful for your coalition to consider.

But with so much information, how do you all figure out what is available for each indicator? There are a lot of indicators, and we have resources for many of them. Here is a quick and dirty summary of some of the information you can find on our website: Read More »

The Obama Administration’s Proposal on Tobacco Regulation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Part 1)

Susan Liss, the executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, stated, “It is very important for people to understand that the [tobacco] industry is using trade law as a new weapon, and [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] provides an opportunity to put a stop to that.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement that will be the largest trade agreement since the World Trade Organization (1995). The TPP will include 12 Pacific Rim countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and other South Eastern Asian countries. This is said to potentially be Obama’s greatest economic achievement yet. So what does this have to do with tobacco?

This trade agreement, like most trade agreements, will work toward eliminating and lowering tariffs for the countries involved. Read More »

Federal Trade Commission releases new reports

If I had been asked where the bulk of advertising money for the tobacco industry was spent, a week ago I would have said  it was on print advertising. But I was surprised when the Federal Trade Commission issued two new reports identifying price discounts as the largest category of spending for advertising and promotion. According to these reports price discounting made up 78.2% of the total advertising and promotion budget in 2009 and 80% of the advertising and promotion budget in 2010 for cigarettes. For smokeless tobacco, price discounts made up 32.6% in 2009 and 21.4% in 2010. It is no surprise that the total number of cigarettes sold or given away has gone down. From 2008 to 2009 the total number of cigarettes sold or given away decreased by 10% and from 2009-2010 by 3%.  

The trends we see in smokeless tobacco are also predictable (and in line with other reports we have seen recently that identify and uptick in the use of smokeless tobacco products).  In 2009 the amount of smokeless tobacco sold or given away decreased, but then increased in 2010. What is surprising is how much money is being spent to lower the price of their product. Read More »

What’s In Store?

Two weeks ago at the Healthy Retailer Conference I had the opportunity to give a presentation about community organizing. One of the things that I shared with attendees was some data from the National Association of Convenience Stores. Every year NACS creates a State of the Industry Report to help retailers (and people like us!) understand what’s going on in the retail environment. At the American Lung Association in California we use this report each year to look at the sales and profits of retailers with respect to cigarettes and other tobacco products.

In preparing for my presentation I realized that the data told a bigger picture about what was going on in the retail environment, not just with tobacco. In fact, all of the top eight products in terms of profit were products that we were discussing at the conference – tobacco products, alcohol and unhealthy snacks and beverages. Here are the numbers: Read More »