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Compliance with a Sales Policy on Flavored Non-cigarette Tobacco Products

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Objectives: We assessed the effect of the New York City (NYC) policy restricting sales of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products on retail sales using a quasi-experimental comparison design. We also studied possible cross-border purchasing and product substitution by consumers. Methods: We compiled retail scanner data for January 2010–January 2014 for NYC, a proximal comparison area (PCA) surrounding NYC, and the US. We used regression models to assess trends in sales of flavored cigars, smokeless tobacco (SLT), loose tobacco (RYO), and total cigars in all areas. Results: Sales of flavored cigars (-22.3%), SLT (-97.6%), and RYO (-42.5%) declined following policy implementation (all ps < .01). Flavored cigar sales declined nonsignificantly in the comparison areas. An average 7.4% reduction in total cigar sales was seen in NYC following the policy (p < .01), as cigar sales increased 12% nationally, suggesting that NYC consumers did not substitute flavored cigars with non-flavored varieties. Conclusions: Implementation of the NYC policy was associated with significant reductions in sales of all restricted products, both absolutely and relative to comparison areas. Despite persistent sales of flavored cigars, overall cigar sales in NYC declined following the policy, although more intensive enforcement is needed to ensure greater policy compliance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-04-01

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 4 times per year.
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