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Banning tobacco displays may curb youth smoking, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Hiding tobacco product displays at the point of sale may help reduce smoking among young people, a new study suggests.

The study, conducted by RTI International and Tarheel Technologies and published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Pediatrics, examined the behaviors of more than 1,200 smokers and likely smokers ages 13 years to 17 years in a virtual convenience store in which tobacco products were either hidden behind a cabinet or openly displayed along with tobacco ads.

The study found that while 85.2% of subjects in stores with visible tobacco products were aware of them, only 32% of those in stores with hidden tobacco products were, and those shopping in the stores with tobacco products hidden were "significantly" less likely to purchase them.

"These results provide support for policies that would ban the display of tobacco products at the point of sale," RTI analyst and lead study author Annice Kim said. "We found that enclosing tobacco product displays significantly lowers the likelihood that youth will try to purchase tobacco in the virtual store."

At the same time, while the display of products themselves had a significant effect on purchasing attempts, banning tobacco ads had a minimal effect, according to the study.

"In the U.S., tobacco companies spend most of their advertising dollars promoting cigarettes in retail stores," Kim said. "Open displays of tobacco products normalize smoking and stimulate unplanned purchases."


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Study: Black Friday promotional spend down 15% as retailers shift to mobile, social media outlets

BY Michael Johnsen

SOLON, Ohio — Overall, promotional trade spend for Black Friday was down 15% for 2012 compared to 2011, according to an ECRM report released last week.

Many retailers are strategically shifting their focus to social and mobile. However, the substantial growth in mobile applications from both retailers and third parties may have given way to inaccurate data and tedious functionality that has frustrated the consumer and resulted in lost opportunities. The same is true with social media, the company noted. "With social media, the conversation can easily lose focus, and the intended message becomes unclear."

And Black Friday deals might not be the bargains you thought they were, according to the study, which examined Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Some products featuring blowout prices could have been bought for less money earlier in the year. For example, Kmart promoted a 32-in. LED television for $229.99 over Black Friday, but had been selling the identical product for $198.88 in October. And 87% of products advertised on both Cyber Monday and Black Friday were more expensive on Cyber Monday, ECRM reported. 

For the complete report, click here

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Cerberus Capital Management in negotiations for Supervalu business

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Friday confirmed that a previously announced review of strategic alternatives is proceeding, sparking a slight run on the company’s stock. As of early Monday afternoon, Supervalu was trading at $2.53 per share, up 6.3%. 

"The company continues to be in active discussion with several parties," Supervalu stated. 

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that Cerberus Capital Management and Supervalu had been negotiating a potential acquisition deal through the weekend.

However, Bloomberg News had reported earlier those talks may have stalled because Cerberus is having difficulty raising the capital for a leveraged buyout. 

 

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