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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009 May;20(2):489-506. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0147.

Point-of-sale marketing of tobacco products: taking advantage of the socially disadvantaged?

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  • 1University of Oklahoma, Health Promotion Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 801 NE 13th St., Rm. 369A, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA. robert-john@ouhsc.edu

Abstract

With increasing regulation of tobacco industry marketing practices, point-of-sale advertising has become an important channel for promoting tobacco products. One hundred and ten convenience stores in Oklahoma County were surveyed for tobacco-related advertising. There were significantly more point-of-sale tobacco advertisements in low-income and minority neighborhoods than in better educated, higher-income, predominantly White neighborhoods. Storeowners or managers were also interviewed to determine who has decision-making power regarding store signage and placement, and to elicit perceptions of industry tactics. Contracts with tobacco companies leave storeowners with little or no control over promotion of tobacco products within their store, and many are unaware of the implications of the tobacco industry point-of-sale practices. Local ordinances that regulated outdoor signage reduced outdoor tobacco advertisements, as well as tobacco signage and promotions within the store. Policy change, rather than education targeting storeowners, is recommended as the most effective strategy for reducing point-of-sale tobacco advertising.

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