Tobacco advertising and sales practices in licensed retail outlets after the Food and Drug Administration regulations

J Community Health. 2012 Oct;37(5):963-7. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9532-x.


To assess retailer compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on tobacco sales and advertising practices, including point-of-sale advertisements, in two distinct Columbus, Ohio neighborhood groups by income. Data were gathered from a random sample of 129 licensed tobacco retailers, which included data on both exterior and interior advertisements as well as sales practices. Descriptive analyses compared retail outlets by high and low income neighborhood locations. Compliance with FDA regulations was high in the random sample of urban tobacco retail outlets. None of the retail outlets sold loose cigarettes or offered free items with purchase. Less than 10% of the outlets surveyed offered self-service access to cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products. From all surveyed retail outlets 95% had cigarette, 57% had smokeless, and 57% had cigar advertisements at the point-of-sale. There were no significant differences in compliance by income, but the mean number of advertisements on the building and self-service access to cigars was significantly different by neighborhood income. There was a high degree of compliance with the new FDA regulation on tobacco marketing and sales practices in urban retail tobacco outlets in Columbus, Ohio. Tobacco advertising and marketing remain highly prevalent in retail outlets, with some significant differences between high and low income neighborhoods.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Licensure
  • Ohio
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Tobacco*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Urban Population