Disparities in retail marketing for menthol cigarettes in the United States, 2015

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Abstract

This study describes retail marketing for menthol cigarettes and its relationship with neighborhood demographics in a national sample of tobacco retailers in the United States. Mixed-effects models were used to examine three outcomes: menthol cigarette exterior advertising, menthol cigarette price promotions, and the pack price of menthol and non-menthol cigarettes. Thirty-eight percent of retailers displayed at least one menthol advertisement on the store exterior and 69% advertised price promotions. Retail advertising was more common in neighborhoods in the second (OR = 1.5 [1.1, 2.0]) and fourth (OR = 1.9 [1.3, 2.7]) quartiles of Black residents as compared to the lowest quartile. Menthol advertising was more prevalent in the third (OR = 1.4 [1.0, 1.9]) and lowest (OR = 1.6 [1.2, 2.2]) income quartiles as compared to the highest quartile. Price promotions for Newport were more common in neighborhoods with the highest quartile of Black residents (OR = 1.8 [1.2, 2.7]). Prices of Newport were cheaper in neighborhoods with the highest quartiles of youth, Black residents, and lower-income households. Policies that restrict the sales and marketing of menthol cigarettes are needed to address disparities.

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