After the Master Settlement Agreement: Trends in the American Tobacco Retail Environment from 1999 to 2002

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Abstract

Research indicates that one impact of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) may be to increase the focus of the tobacco industry’s marketing approach on the retail tobacco environment. This article aims to provide an overview of and trends in the post-MSA American tobacco retail environment from 1999 to 2002, nationally, by region, and by locale. We examined the following specific retail tobacco environment issues: price, promotions, advertising, and placement, which stimulate or reduce demand for tobacco products. Data for this article were obtained as part of the Impac Teen Project—A Policy Research Partnership to Reduce Youth Substance Use. Results show overall high levels of advertising, promotional activity, and price increase trends across the United States. Tobacco promotions in stores increased between 2001 and 2002. Stores in the south and rural areas tended to have the lowest prices and highest prevalence of promotions and advertising, suggesting a need for tobacco control intervention.

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